Navigation Links
NIH scientists link quickly spreading gene to Asian MRSA epidemic
Date:4/22/2012

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their colleagues in China have described a rapidly emerging Staphylococcus aureus gene, called sasX, which plays a pivotal role in establishing methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) epidemics in most of Asia. Senior author Michael Otto, Ph.D., of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says these findings illustrate at the molecular level how MRSA epidemics may emerge and spread. Moreover, their study identifies a potential target for novel therapeutics.

MRSA is a leading cause of severe infections that occur predominantly in hospitals. MRSA epidemics happen in waves, with old clones of MRSA bacteria disappearing and new clones emerging, a process whose molecular underpinnings are not fully understood.

Previous data indicated that the sasX gene is extremely rare. Therefore, the researchers were surprised when they analyzed 807 patient samples of invasive S. aureus taken over the past decade from three Chinese hospitals. Their data showed that sasX is more prevalent in MRSA strains from China than previously thought, and the gene's frequency is increasing significantly: From 2003 to 2011, the percentage of MRSA samples containing sasX almost doubled, from 21 to 39 percent.

This finding suggests that the sasX gene is involved in molecular processes that help MRSA spread and cause disease. The researchers determined in laboratory and mouse studies that sasX helps bacteria to colonize in the nose, cause skin abscesses and lung disease, and evade human immune defenses. Further, the scientists say their work provides additional evidence for a long-held theory that the emergence of new clones of highly virulent MRSA bacteria occurs through horizontal gene transfer, the exchange of DNA between different strains. Notably, the sasX gene is embedded in a so-called mobile genetic element, a DNA segment that can transfer easily between strains.

Most sasX-positive samples found in the study were from the ST239 group, the predominant MRSA lineage in China and large parts of Asia. However, because the scientists have already observed the transfer of sasX to MRSA clones other than those belonging to the ST239 group, Dr. Otto and his team predict that the frequency of sasX will increase internationally. They plan to both monitor its spread and work to develop therapeutics to prevent MRSA strains expressing sasX from colonizing and infecting people.

Min Li, Ph.D., associate professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, a former postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Otto's laboratory, designed the study. Other collaborators are from the University of California, San Francisco.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ken Pekoc
niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Warwick scientists uncover how checkpoint proteins bind chromosomes
2. Scientists rewrite rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study
3. Scientists tailor cell surface targeting system to hit organelle ZIP codes
4. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
5. Scientists uncover multiple faces of deadly breast cancer
6. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
7. A*STAR scientists discover special class of natural fats stimulates immune cells to fight diseases
8. Hutchinson Center and TGen scientists discover potential break through in pancreatic cancer
9. Scientists study link between amyloid beta peptide levels and Alzheimers disease
10. Scientists measure how energy is spent in martial arts
11. Scientists link 2 cancer-promoting pathways in esophageal cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP ... the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare ... City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health ... Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams ... Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health ... Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Vohra ... care advancements to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other clinicians ... Waters of Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences we get to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... management, presents its enhanced Pepper Flow promotional review platform at the Promotional ... Flow’s increased insight-driven capabilities help marketers streamline the medical, legal, and regulatory ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... -- Commended for their devotion to personalized service, SMP Pharmacy Solutions ... in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 Fastest-Growing Companies, and ... the national specialty pharmacy has found its niche.  To that ... be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 Power Leader in ... receive his award in October, Bardisa said of the three ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , ... File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European ... platform to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the ... the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis ... are needed to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab ... "We are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: