About this Research Topic
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continue to be a major threat to human health worldwide with significant attributable morbidity, mortality and significant associated healthcare costs. While traditionally associated with healthcare-associated (HCA) infections, during the last two decades community-associated (CA) MRSA have emerged globally and spread among people without the usual HCA risk factors. Molecular epidemiological studies have revealed that MRSA emerged from methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) on multiple independent occasions following the acquisition of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) element harbouring either mecA or mecC. Recent whole-genome sequencing studies have uncovered the distinct genetic origins, antimicrobial resistance and predominant mobile genetic elements (MGEs) of many different MRSA clones and has also been used to successfully track the spread of MRSA in hospitals and communities. While different MRSA clones predominate in different regions of the world, the changing epidemiology of MRSA has become apparent in recent years with the emergence and spread of more virulent and often multidrug resistant CA-MRSA clones in hospitals, the spread of HCA-MRSA beyond hospitals to other types of healthcare facilities such as nursing homes, the zoonotic spread of MRSA, including those harbouring mecC and the diversity of SCCmec types.
Also of concern are the growing number of reports of MRSA exhibiting resistance to antimicrobial agents used to decolonise and treat patients with MRSA, particularly those encoded on transferable plasmids and often carrying genes encoding resistance to multiple clinically relevant antimicrobial agents. The significant role of various coagulase-negative staphylococcal (CoNS) species and other Gram-positive bacteria in the evolution of MRSA, particularly antibiotic resistance, has also received much attention in recent years.
In light of the significant impact that whole-genome sequencing has begun to have on enhancing our understanding of MRSA, as well as the challenges it presents, this Research Topic aims to bring together the most up-to-date perspectives and research in the area of the molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of MRSA in humans. Our ultimate aim is that this will become a useful resource as well as a source for generating new research ideas that will enhance our understanding of MRSA in humans so that we can better prevent and control its spread.
This Research Topic will have a particular emphasis on Reviews and Original Research Articles focused on MRSA in humans and informed by whole-genome sequencing and addressing the following:
• The epidemiology, evolution and spread of MRSA in different regions of the world.
• Antimicrobial resistance in MRSA, particularly to clinically relevant antimicrobial agents and encoded on MGEs including plasmids and SCC/SCCmec elements.
• The role of CoNS and other Gram-positive bacteria in the evolution of MRSA.
• Successes and challenges for typing in surveillance and infection control and the impact of new whole-genome sequencing technology.
Keywords: Hospital-associated MRSA, Community-associated MRSA, Livestock-associated MRSA, Antimicrobial resistance, Whole-genome sequencing
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