Molecular epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus in post-earthquake northern Haiti

Marnie E. Rosenthal, Jose Mediavilla, Liang Chen, Julian Sonnenfeld, Logan Pierce, Alexander Shannon, Helen Boucher, Mark Pearlmutter, Barry Kreiswirth, Yen Hong Kuo, Harold Previl, Albert Rojtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Knowledge of nasal carriage is important in predicting staphylococcal infection, and no information exists regarding the endemicity of Staphylococcus aureus in Haiti. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of S. aureus nasal screening in an acute care, a subacute rehabilitation, and a community setting, with a brief medical and epidemiological history. PCR-positive S. aureus screening nasal cultures underwent molecular analysis for spa type, SCC. mec type, and virulence genes (Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), toxic shock syndrome toxin (TSST), and arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME)), and were evaluated for antibiotic susceptibility using commercial tests. Results: Overall carriage rates of 8.4% methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 2.8% methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) were identified, with a high rate of tetracycline resistance. TSST and PVL genes were identified in MSSA. MRSA isolates contained no virulence markers. Unique MSSA phenotypes (i.e., linezolid-resistant, vancomycin-sensitive/daptomycin non-susceptible) were identified, as were two PVL-positive ST152 MSSA colonization isolates, previously geographically limited to Africa. Conclusions: We found a low S. aureus carriage rate with complete vancomycin susceptibility and high tetracycline resistance, which has important public health implications with regard to treatment. Additionally, the finding of PVL-positive MSSA isolates, including the expansion of a previously described limited 'divergent' clone, ST152, warrants further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Epidemiology
  • Haiti
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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