In many parts of the world, MRSA are responsible for a high proportion of S. aureus infections in patients in contact with healthcare. Molecular studies have shown this is due to one or more MRSA clones that have become endemic in each hospital or healthcare facility, resulting in hospital- or healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). The infection rate and clones responsible for HA-MRSA can vary substantially in different geographical locations. Molecular methods have allowed clones to be categorized, as well as the opportunity to track the evolution and spread of clones in healthcare settings and around the world. The genomes of HA-MRSA isolates belonging to the same clonal group can show dramatic variability particularly in the carriage of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) encoding virulence and resistance genes. HA-MRSA are potentially resistant to all classes of antibiotics, although individual isolates that are fully drug resistant are not reported. The incidence of fluoroquinolone resistance in HA-MRSA is remarkably high, suggesting use of this class of antibiotics as well as the β-lactams contributes to the selection and success of HA-MRSA clones in the hospital setting.
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Evolution; Genome; Healthcare-associated-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA); Mobile genetic elements.
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