Difficult-to-treat infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are of concern in people living with HIV infection as they are more vulnerable to infection. We aimed to identify molecular characteristics of MRSA colonizing newly diagnosed HIV-infected adults in Tanzania. Individuals newly diagnosed with HIV infection were recruited in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from April 2017 to May 2018, as part of the randomized clinical trial CoTrimResist ( ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03087890). Nasal/nasopharyngeal isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were susceptibility tested by disk diffusion method, and cefoxitin-resistant isolates were characterized by short-reads whole genome sequencing. Four percent (22/537) of patients carried MRSA in the nose/nasopharynx. MRSA isolates were frequently resistant towards gentamicin (95%), ciprofloxacin (91%), and erythromycin (82%) but less often towards trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (9%). Seventy-three percent had inducible clindamycin resistance. Erythromycin-resistant isolates harbored ermC (15/18) and LmrS (3/18) resistance genes. Ciprofloxacin resistance was mediated by mutations of the quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR) sequence in the gyrA (S84L) and parC (S80Y) genes. All isolates belonged to the CC8 and ST8-SCCmecIV MRSA clone. Ninety-five percent of the MRSA isolates were spa-type t1476, and one exhibited spa-type t064. All isolates were negative for Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) and arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) type 1. All ST8-SCCmecIV-spa-t1476 MRSA clones from Tanzania were unrelated to the globally successful USA300 clone. Carriage of ST8 MRSA (non-USA300) was common among newly diagnosed HIV-infected adults in Tanzania. Frequent co-resistance to non-beta lactam antibiotics limits therapeutic options when infection occurs.
Keywords: Community; Human immunodficiency virus; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); Panton-Valentine leukocidin-negative; Sequence type 8 (ST8); Tanzania.