Clonal spread of Staphylococcus aureus among soldiers in Latvian contingent in Iraq

Abstract number: 1733_744

Pinke M., Cupane L., Balode A., Pujate E., Dumpis U., Aksenoka K., Miklasevics E.

Aim:Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen. Although S. aureus is considered to be an opportunistic pathogen, it is possible that certain clones are more prone to cause invasive disease than others due to the presence of virulence factors that increase chance of gaining access to normally sterile sites. The aim of the present work was to study S. aureus carriers rates, resistance levels and dissemination in Latvian army.

Methods:S. aureus strains were isolated from 337 military persons dislocated either in Latvia (Alûksne, 126) or being on Peacekeeping Missions in Iraq (125) and Kosovo (86). S. aureus strains isolated from nasal swabs were tested antimicrobial susceptibility (PEN, FOX, GEN, CIP, CHL, CLI, ERY, RIF, STX, TET, VAN) according to CLSI standard. The presence of the mecA and toxin (PVL, HLG, TSST) genes was determined by PCR. Strain typing was performed by repetitive extragenic palindromic sequence PCR (rep-PCR).

Results: While the rates of asymptomatic S. aureus carriers in Alûksne and Kosovo contingents were similar (30.9% and 34.8%, respectively) the percentage of carriers in Iraq unit was almost doubled (57.6%). From 141 S. aureus isolates obtained none was methicillin-resistant. 104 isolates were resistant to penicillin, and 5 to erythromycin. As MSSA was found more often among members of Iraq contingent these isolates were subjected to more detailed investigation. Molecular analysis revealed 46 strains harbouring no toxin genes, 11 were hlg positive, 7 were hlg-v positive and two strains produced PVL. Rep-PCR revealed three major groups of strains with identical chromosomal background. This strongly points toward clonal spread which may explain high carrier rate in this group.

Conclusions: Antimicrobial resistance levels of analysed strains were low. Our study revealed clonal spread of S. aureus among members of closed community. Personal hygiene is of great importance to reduce dissemination of S. aureus.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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