Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus lugdunensis (MRSL) is increasingly recognized in healthcare and community settings. To obtain a better understanding of the emergence of MRSL, this study characterized the structure and content of the SCCmec elements harboured by 36 MRSL isolates obtained from diverse sources in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2017. The isolates were investigated by whole-genome sequencing. SCCmec types and subtypes were assigned according to the guidelines from the International Working Group on the Classification of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome Elements. The sequence type (ST)-SCCmec combinations in the 36 MRSL isolates were as follows: ST3-SCCmec IV (n=2), ST3-SCCmec V (n=28), ST27-SCCmec V (n=5) and ST42-SCCmec V (n=1). The two SCCmec IV elements were highly similar to the SCCmec IV element harboured by the community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strain, JCSC6668. The J3-mec complex-J2 regions in the SCCmec V elements were highly similar to the corresponding regions in the CA-MRSA strains PM1 (n=13) or WIS (n=21). Based on the J1 to J3 sequences, the SCCmec V elements can be categorized into nine different subtypes. Our findings highlight the diversified structures of SCCmec elements among MRSL strains and their close relationship with SCCmec elements harboured by CA-MRSA.
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance epidemiology; methicillin; molecular epidemiology; staphylococci.