Genomic heterogeneity of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus associated with variation in severity of illness among children with acute hematogenous osteomyelitis

Claudia Gaviria-Agudelo, Chukwuemika Aroh, Naureen Tareen, Edward K. Wakeland, Minsoo Kim, Lawson A. Copley

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8 Scopus citations


Introduction: The association between severity of illness of children with osteomyelitis caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and genomic variation of the causative organism has not been previously investigated. The purpose of this study is to assess genomic heterogeneity among MRSA isolates from children with osteomyelitis who have diverse severity of illness. Materials and Methods: Children with osteomyelitis were prospectively studied between 2010 and 2011. Severity of illness of the affected children was determined from clinical and laboratory parameters. MRSA isolates were analyzed with next generation sequencing (NGS) and optical mapping. Sequence data was used for multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), phylogenetic analysis by maximum likelihood (PAML), and identification of virulence genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) relative to reference strains. Results: The twelve children studied demonstrated severity of illness scores ranging from 0 (mild) to 9 (severe). All isolates were USA300, ST 8, SCC mec IVa MRSA by MLST. The isolates differed from reference strains by 2 insertions (40 Kb each) and 2 deletions (10 and 25 Kb) but had no rearrangements or copy number variations. There was a higher occurrence of virulence genes among study isolates when compared to the reference strains (p = 0.0124). There were an average of 11 nonsynonymous SNPs per strain. PAML demonstrated heterogeneity of study isolates from each other and from the reference strains. Discussion: Genomic heterogeneity exists among MRSA isolates causing osteomyelitis among children in a single community. These variations may play a role in the pathogenesis of variation in clinical severity among these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0130415
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 18 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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