Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus from Sub-Saharan Africa and Germany: A Cross-Sectional Geographic Correlation Study

Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 13;7(1):154. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00214-8.


Clonal clusters and gene repertoires of Staphylococcus aureus are essential to understand disease and are well characterized in industrialized countries but poorly analysed in developing regions. The objective of this study was to compare the molecular-epidemiologic profiles of S. aureus isolates from Sub-Saharan Africa and Germany. S. aureus isolates from 600 staphylococcal carriers and 600 patients with community-associated staphylococcal disease were characterized by DNA hybridization, clonal complex (CC) attribution, and principal component (PCA)-based gene repertoire analysis. 73% of all CCs identified representing 77% of the isolates contained in these CCs were predominant in either African or German region. Significant differences between African versus German isolates were found for alleles encoding the accessory gene regulator type, enterotoxins, the Panton-Valentine leukocidin, immune evasion gene cluster, and adhesins. PCA in conjunction with silhouette analysis distinguished nine separable PCA clusters, with five clusters primarily comprising of African and two clusters of German isolates. Significant differences between S. aureus lineages in Africa and Germany may be a clue to explain the apparent difference in disease between tropical/(so-called) developing and temperate/industrialized regions. In low-resource countries further clinical-epidemiologic research is warranted not only for neglected tropical diseases but also for major bacterial infections.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community-Acquired Infections
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phylogeography
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / classification*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Young Adult