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Concept: Vancomycin


BACKGROUND: Activation of the A2A adenosine receptor (A2AAR) decreases production of inflammatory cytokines, prevents C. difficile toxin A-induced enteritis and, in combination with antibiotics, increases survival from sepsis in mice. We investigated whether A2AAR activation improves and A2AAR deletion worsens outcomes in a murine model of C. difficile (strain VPI10463) infection (CDI). METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with an antibiotic cocktail prior to infection and then treated with vancomycin with or without an A2AAR agonist. A2AAR-/- and littermate wild-type (WT) mice were similarly infected, and IFNgamma and TNFalpha were measured at peak of and recovery from infection. RESULTS: Infected, untreated mice rapidly lost weight, developed diarrhea, and had mortality rates of 50-60%. Infected mice treated with vancomycin had less weight loss and diarrhea during antibiotic treatment but mortality increased to near 100% after discontinuation of antibiotics. Infected mice treated with both vancomycin and an A2AAR agonist, either ATL370 or ATL1222, had minimal weight loss and better long-term survival than mice treated with vancomycin alone. A2AAR KO mice were more susceptible than WT mice to death from CDI. Increases in cecal IFNgamma and blood TNFalpha were pronounced in the absence of A2AARs. CONCLUSION: In a murine model of CDI, vancomycin treatment resulted in reduced weight loss and diarrhea during acute infection, but high recurrence and late-onset death, with overall mortality being worse than untreated infected controls. The administration of vancomycin plus an A2AAR agonist reduced inflammation and improved survival rates, suggesting a possible benefit of A2AAR agonists in the management of CDI to prevent recurrent disease.

Concepts: Infection, Antibiotic resistance, Vancomycin, Antibiotic, Metronidazole, Probiotic, Adenosine receptor, Clostridium difficile


BACKGROUND: Hitherto, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has not been detected in Swedish cattle. However, due to the report of mecC, a novel homologue to the mecA gene, there was reason to re-evaluate susceptibility results from strain collections of Staphylococcus aureus and test suspected isolates for the presence of mecC. FINDINGS: Bovine isolates of S. aureus with elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations of beta-lactams were retrospectively tested for presence of mecC. In four of the isolates mecC was detected. CONCLUSION: In Sweden, this is the first finding of MRSA in cattle and the first detection of MRSA harbouring mecC of domestic animal origin. MRSA in animal populations has implications as a potential reservoir with risk for spread to humans. Occurrence of MRSA among Swedish cattle appears still very limited.

Concepts: Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Milk, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Vancomycin, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, Cattle, Oxacillin


The aim of this study was to seek additional data on the antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus spp. after habituation to low levels of the topical antimicrobial agent tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil. Meticillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) were habituated to 0.075% tea tree oil for 3 days. Subsequently, the susceptibility of five isolates each of MSSA, MRSA and CoNS to fusidic acid, mupirocin, chloramphenicol, linezolid and vancomycin was determined by Etest, and susceptibility to tea tree oil, terpinen-4-ol, carvacrol and triclosan was determined by agar dilution. Following habituation to 0.075% tea tree oil, antimicrobial MICs differed between control and habituated isolates on 33 occasions (out of a possible 150), with MICs being higher in habituated isolates on 22 occasions. Using clinical breakpoint criteria, one MSSA isolate changed susceptibility category from vancomycin-susceptible (MIC=2μg/mL) to intermediate susceptibility (MIC=3μg/mL) after habituation in one of two replicates. For the non-antibiotic antimicrobial agents, MICs of habituated and control isolates differed on 12 occasions (out of a possible 120); 10 occasions in MRSA and 2 occasions in MSSA. MICs were higher for habituated isolates on five occasions. However, all the differences were one serial dilution only and were not regarded as significant. Habituation to sublethal concentrations of tea tree oil led to minor changes in MICs of antimicrobial agents, only one of which may have been clinically relevant. There is no evidence to suggest that tea tree oil induces resistance to antimicrobial agents.

Concepts: Microbiology, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Staphylococcus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Vancomycin, Antimicrobial, Tea tree oil


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continues to be a major problem, causing severe and intractable infections worldwide. MRSA is resistant to all beta-lactam antibiotics, and alternative treatments are limited. A very limited number of new antibiotics have been discovered over the last half-century, novel agents for the treatment of MRSA infections are urgently needed. Marinopyrrole A was reported to show antibiotic activity against MRSA in 2008. After we reported the first total synthesis of (±)-marinopyrrole A, we designed and synthesized a series of marinopyrrole derivatives. Our structure activity relationship (SAR) studies of these novel derivatives against a panel of Gram-positive pathogens in antibacterial assays have revealed that a para-trifluoromethyl analog (33) of marinopyrrole A is ≥63-, 8-, and 4-fold more potent than vancomycin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE), methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and MRSA, respectively. The results provide valuable information in the search for new-generation antibiotics.

Concepts: Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Linezolid, Vancomycin, Penicillin, Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Despite the increasing importance of Enterococcus as opportunistic pathogens, their virulence factors are still poorly understood. This study determines the frequency of virulence factors in clinical and commensal Enterococcus isolates from inpatients in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Fifty Enterococcus isolates were analysed and the presence of the gelE, asa1 and esp genes was determined. Gelatinase activity and biofilm formation were also tested. The clonal relationships among the isolates were evaluated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The asa1, gelE and esp genes were identified in 38%, 60% and 76% of all isolates, respectively. The first two genes were more prevalent in Enterococcus faecalis than in Enterococcus faecium, as was biofilm formation, which was associated with gelE and asa1 genes, but not with the esp gene. The presence of gelE and the activity of gelatinase were not fully concordant. No relationship was observed among any virulence factors and specific subclones of E. faecalis or E. faecium resistant to vancomycin. In conclusion, E. faecalis and E. faecium isolates showed significantly different patterns of virulence determinants. Neither the source of isolation nor the clonal relationship or vancomycin resistance influenced their distribution.

Concepts: Protein, Bacteria, Antibiotic resistance, Linezolid, Vancomycin, Enterococcus, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis


The correct interpretation of microbial sequencing data applied to surveillance and outbreak investigation depends on accessible genomic databases to provide vital genetic context. Our aim was to construct and describe a UK MRSA database containing over 1,000 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) genomes drawn from England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland over a decade. We sequenced 1,013 MRSA submitted to the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy by 46 laboratories between 2001 and 2010. Each isolate was assigned to a regional healthcare referral network in England, and otherwise grouped based on country of origin. Phylogenetic reconstructions were used to contextualise MRSA outbreak investigations, and to detect the spread of resistance. The majority of isolates (n=783, 77%) belonged to CC22, which contains the dominant UK epidemic clone (EMRSA-15). There was marked geographic structuring of EMRSA-15, consistent with widespread dissemination prior to the sampling decade followed by local diversification. The addition of MRSA genomes from two outbreaks and one pseudo-outbreak demonstrated the certainty with which outbreaks could be confirmed or refuted. We identified local and regional differences in antibiotic resistance profiles, with examples of local expansion, as well as widespread circulation of mobile genetic elements across the bacterial population. We have generated a resource for the future surveillance and outbreak investigation of MRSA in the UK and Ireland, and have shown the value of this during outbreak investigation and tracking of antimicrobial resistance.

Concepts: Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Vancomycin, Northern Ireland


Money is one of the most frequently passed items in the world. The aim of this study was to ascertain the survival status of bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Vancomycin- Resistant Enterococci (VRE) on banknotes from different countries and the transmission of bacteria to people who come in contact with the banknotes. The survival rate was highest for the Romanian Leu yielding all three microorganisms used after both three and six hours of drying. Furthermore, the Leu was the only banknote to yield VRE after one day of drying. Other currencies either enabled the survival of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBL) and VRE (e.g. Euro), but not of MRSA, or the other way round (e.g. US Dollar). While a variety of factors such as community hygiene levels, people’s behaviour, and antimicrobial resistance rates at community level obviously have influence on the transmission of resistant microorganisms, the type of banknote-paper may be an additional variable to consider.

Concepts: Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Linezolid, Vancomycin, ISO 4217


Administration of antibiotics to food animals may select for drug-resistant pathogens of clinical significance, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In the United States, studies have examined prevalence of MRSA carriage among individuals exposed to livestock, but prevalence of multidrug-resistant S. aureus (MDRSA) carriage and the association with livestock raised with versus without antibiotic selective pressure remains unclear. We aimed to examine prevalence, antibiotic susceptibility, and molecular characteristics of S. aureus among industrial livestock operation (ILO) and antibiotic-free livestock operation (AFLO) workers and household members in North Carolina.

Concepts: Pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, United States, Antibiotic resistance, United Kingdom, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Vancomycin, Penicillin


Swine production work is a risk factor for nasal carriage of livestock-associated (LA-) Staphylococcus aureus and also for skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI). However, whether LA-S. aureus nasal carriage is associated with increased risk of SSTI remains unclear. We aimed to examine S. aureus nasal carriage and recent (≤3 months prior to enrollment) SSTI symptoms among industrial hog operation (IHO) workers and their household contacts. IHO workers and their household contacts provided a nasal swab and responded to a questionnaire assessing self-reported personal and occupational exposures and recent SSTI symptoms. Nasal swabs were analyzed for S. aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), multidrug-resistant-S. aureus (MDRSA), absence of scn (livestock association), and spa type. S. aureus with at least one indicator of LA was observed among 19% of 103 IHO workers and 6% of 80 household members. Prevalence of recent SSTI was 6% among IHO workers and 11% among 54 minor household members (0/26 adult household members reported SSTI). Among IHO workers, nasal carriers of MDRSA and scn-negative S. aureus were 8.8 (95% CI: 1.8, 43.9) and 5.1 (95% CI: 1.2, 22.2) times as likely to report recent SSTI as non-carriers, respectively. In one household, both an IHO worker and child reported recent SSTI and carried the same S. aureus spa type (t4976) intranasally. Prevalence of scn-negative S. aureus (PR: 5.0, 95% CI: 1.2, 21.4) was elevated among IHO workers who reported never versus always wearing a face mask at work. Although few SSTI were reported, this study of IHO workers and their household contacts is the first to characterize a relation between nasal carriage of antibiotic-resistant LA-S. aureus and SSTI. The direction and temporality of this relation and IHO workers' use of face masks to prevent nasal carriage of these bacteria warrant further investigation.

Concepts: Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Staphylococcus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Linezolid, Vancomycin, Skin


Chronic coinfections of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa frequently fail to respond to antibiotic treatment, leading to significant patient morbidity and mortality. Currently, the impact of interspecies interaction on S. aureus antibiotic susceptibility remains poorly understood. In this study, we utilize a panel of P. aeruginosa burn wound and cystic fibrosis (CF) lung isolates to demonstrate that P. aeruginosa alters S. aureus susceptibility to bactericidal antibiotics in a variable, strain-dependent manner and further identify 3 independent interactions responsible for antagonizing or potentiating antibiotic activity against S. aureus. We find that P. aeruginosa LasA endopeptidase potentiates lysis of S. aureus by vancomycin, rhamnolipids facilitate proton-motive force-independent tobramycin uptake, and 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO) induces multidrug tolerance in S. aureus through respiratory inhibition and reduction of cellular ATP. We find that the production of each of these factors varies between clinical isolates and corresponds to the capacity of each isolate to alter S. aureus antibiotic susceptibility. Furthermore, we demonstrate that vancomycin treatment of a S. aureus mouse burn infection is potentiated by the presence of a LasA-producing P. aeruginosa population. These findings demonstrate that antibiotic susceptibility is complex and dependent not only upon the genotype of the pathogen being targeted, but also on interactions with other microorganisms in the infection environment. Consideration of these interactions will improve the treatment of polymicrobial infections.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Cystic fibrosis, Vancomycin, Antibiotic