Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can lead to debilitating skin and soft tissue infections, bacteremia, pneumonia, and endocarditis. The bacterium carries the mecC gene which is responsible for resistance to the penicillin-like antibiotic methicillin. In Denmark, two independent human cases of mecC-MRSA infection occurred on two different farms.
Mark A. Holmes, University of Cambridge, UK, and colleagues from the UK and Denmark used an Illumina HiSeq sequencing system to compare single differences in nucleotides from the two disease outbreaks. The results confirm animal-to-human transmission of the methicillin-resistant S. aureus.
The researchers emphasize that while whole genome sequencing (WGS) cannot replace other more traditional types of diseases analysis, it can greatly increase the ability of scientists to distinguish between different pathogens as the cause of disease.
- Whole genome sequencing identifies zoonotic transmission of MRSA isolates with the novel mecA homologue mecC,
Ewan M. Harrison, Gavin K. Paterson, Matthew T.G. Holden, Jesper Larsen, Marc Stegger, Anders Rhod Larsen, Andreas Petersen, Robert L. Skov, Judit Marta Christensen, Anne Bak Zeuthen, Ole Heltberg, Simon R. Harris, Ruth N. Zadoks, Julian Parkhill, Sharon J. Peacock, Mark A. Holmes,
EMBO Molec. Med. 2013.