Molecular Assessment of Staphylococcus Aureus Strains in STAT3 Hyper-IgE Syndrome Patients

J Clin Immunol. 2022 Jun 2. doi: 10.1007/s10875-022-01293-7. Online ahead of print.


Hyper-IgE syndromes (HIES) are a group of inborn errors of immunity (IEI) caused by monogenic defects such as in the gene STAT3 (STAT3-HIES). Patients suffering from HIES show an increased susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) including skin abscesses and pulmonary infections. To assess if the underlying immune defect of STAT3-HIES patients influences the resistance patterns, pathogenicity factors or strain types of S. aureus. We characterized eleven S. aureus strains isolated from STAT3-HIES patients (n = 4) by whole genome sequencing (WGS) to determine presence of resistance and virulence genes. Additionally, we used multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and protein A (spa) typing to classify these isolates. Bacterial isolates collected from this cohort of STAT3-HIES patients were identified as common spa types in Germany. Only one of the isolates was classified as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). For one STAT3 patient WGS illustrated that infection and colonization occurred with different S. aureus isolates rather than one particular clone. The identified S. aureus carriage profile on a molecular level suggests that S. aureus strain type in STAT3-HIES patients is determined by local epidemiology rather than the underlying immune defect highlighting the importance of microbiological assessment prior to antibiotic treatment.

Keywords: STAT3 hyper-IgE syndromes (STAT3-HIES); Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus); immune evasion cluster (IEC); protein A (spa) typing; whole genome sequencing (WGS).