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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Phenotypic and Genotypic Characteristics of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Related to Persistent Endovascular Infection.

  • Author(s): Li, Liang
  • Yeaman, Michael R
  • Bayer, Arnold S
  • Xiong, Yan Q
  • et al.

Persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia (PB) represents an important subset of S. aureus infection and correlates with poor clinical outcomes. MRSA isolates from patients with PB differ significantly from those of resolving bacteremia (RB) with regard to several in vitro phenotypic and genotypic profiles. For instance, PB strains exhibit less susceptibility to cationic host defense peptides and vancomycin (VAN) killing under in vivo-like conditions, greater damage to endothelial cells, thicker biofilm formation, altered growth rates, early activation of many global virulence regulons (e.g., sigB, sarA, sae and agr) and higher expression of purine biosynthesis genes (e.g., purF) than RB strains. Importantly, PB strains are significantly more resistant to VAN treatment in experimental infective endocarditis as compared to RB strains, despite similar VAN minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in vitro. Here, we review relevant phenotypic and genotypic characteristics related to the PB outcome. These and future insights may improve our understanding of the specific mechanism(s) contributing to the PB outcome, and aid in the development of novel therapeutic and preventative measures against this life-threatening infection.

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