Absence of patient-to-patient intrahospital transmission of Staphylococcus aureus as determined by whole-genome sequencing.
Bottom Line: To identify patient-to-patient intrahospital transmission using high-resolution genetic analysis, we sequenced the genomes of a consecutive set of 398 S. aureus isolates from sterile-site infections.The S. aureus strains were collected from four hospitals in the Houston Methodist Hospital System over a 6-month period.In addition, our data demonstrate that highly related pools of S. aureus strains exist in the community which may complicate outbreak investigations.
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Mentions: To correlate the genome data with traditional typing methods, the MLST types of the isolates were computationally determined and mapped onto the phylogenetic tree (Fig. 2). Predictably, strains with the same MLST type clustered into the same distinct branch. This analysis confirmed that there was a considerable fine-structure genomic diversity among strains assigned to the same MLST. Moreover, it reaffirmed a conclusion by Harris et al. (25) that, compared to lower-resolution typing methods, whole-genome sequencing establishes a greater degree of genetic divergence that can enhance identification of intrahospital transmission events.