Staphylococcus epidermidis is a pathogen emerging worldwide as a leading cause of health care-associated infections. A standardized high-resolution typing method to document transmission and dissemination of multidrug-resistant S. epidermidis strains is needed. Our aim was to provide a core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) scheme for S. epidermidis to improve the international surveillance of S. epidermidis We defined a cgMLST scheme based on 699 core genes and used it to investigate the population structure of the species and the genetic relatedness of isolates recovered from infants hospitalized in several wards of a French hospital. Our results show the long-lasting endemic persistence of S. epidermidis clones within and across wards of hospitals and demonstrate the ability of our cgMLST approach to identify and track these clones. We made the scheme publicly available through the Institut Pasteur BIGSdb server (http://bigsdb.pasteur.fr/epidermidis/). This tool should enable international harmonization of the epidemiological surveillance of multidrug-resistant S. epidermidis clones. By comparing gene distribution among infection and commensal isolates, we also confirmed the association of the mecA locus with infection isolates and of the fdh gene with commensal isolates. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT03374371.).
Keywords: Staphylococcus epidermidis; cgMLST; typing.
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