During cefoxitin-based nasal screening, phenotypically categorized methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was isolated and tested negative for the presence of the mecA and mecC genes as well as for the SCCmec-orfX junction region. The isolate was found to carry a mecB gene previously described for Macrococcus caseolyticus but not for staphylococcal species. The gene is flanked by β-lactam regulatory genes similar to mecR, mecI, and blaZ and is part of an 84.6-kb multidrug-resistance plasmid that harbors genes encoding additional resistances to aminoglycosides (aacA-aphD, aphA, and aadK) as well as macrolides (ermB) and tetracyclines (tetS). This further plasmidborne β-lactam resistance mechanism harbors the putative risk of acceleration or reacceleration of MRSA spread, resulting in broad ineffectiveness of β-lactams as a main therapeutic application against staphylococcal infections.
Keywords: MRSA; Macrococcus; Staphylococcaceae; Staphylococcus aureus; antibacterial agents; antimicrobial resistance; bacteria; mecB; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; microbial genome; plasmids; staphylococci.