Breaking the species barrier: Investigation of the epidemic behaviour of recent zoonotic Staphylococcus aureus ST398 clonal lineage

BMBF 01KI1014Aim Verbund “MedVet-Staph: Interdisciplinary Research Network on the Zoonotic Impact of Staphylococcus aureus/MRSA (Verbund MedVet-Staph: Epidemiologische Studien und Analysen zur Pathogenität, Virulenz, Evolution und mikrobiellen Kompetitivflora von S. aureus/MRSA)“
K. Becker, G. Peters
11/2010 – 10/2013
Just now, the scientific community becomes witness to the emergence of a novel zoonotic clonal lineage of Staphylococcus aureus with probably porcine origin, designated ST398, which is now breaking species barriers within livestock culminating recently in the affection of the human host. This process of breaking species barriers and becoming epidemiologically successful is not understood. The livestock-associated (LA) clonal lineage - occurring as methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) - has been observed preferentially in pig feeding areas, such as the border region between The Netherlands and the Northwestern Germany. Given that this region is epidemiologically observed and monitored in terms of MRSA by the EUREGIO MRSA-net project, unique preconditions exist to investigate continuously and longitudinally the epidemic process of ST398 spread starting directly from its advent.

Staphylococcal phenotypes: Normal and small colony variant (SCV) phenotype