Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacteria, and a common human pathogen. It is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections worldwide, causing potentially fatal bacteraemia. Infections can be treated using antibiotics, but many strains have quickly developed resistance to the most common antibiotics. Methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus is acquired through the uptake of the Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec). SCCmec is a large mobile genetic element, which can integrate into the Staphylococcus genome. It carries the mecA gene, which confers resistance to broad-spectrum β-lactam antibiotics, including methicillin. Several different SCCmec elements have been described, some of which can carry additional antibiotic resistance genes, alongside mecA. These can include resistance to common antibiotics or resistance to heavy metals. Smaller SCCmec types do not encode any additional antibiotic resistance genes. These have been shown to confer no fitness cost to the bacteria. Because of this, smaller SCCmec types are becoming increasingly more common, particularly in community-associated MRSA infections.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error