Background: Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infection has recently become a challenging problem worldwide and in Japan. We experienced 10 pediatric patients infected with CA-MRSA and hospitalized from 2011 to 2014 in a tertiary care hospital in Saitama, Japan, and assessed the characteristic of the strains using a whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based approach. Methods: CA-MRSA strains isolated from infected patients who required hospitalization for treatment were evaluated in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests, molecular typing by PCR and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were performed to characterize MRSA strains. WGS was performed for detailed genetic analysis. Results: A total of 582 MRSA strains (35.2%) were identified among 1625 S. aureus strains collected during the study period. Ten MRSA strains (1.7%) were defined as CA-MRSA clinically, and all were isolated from pediatric patients. All strains mainly caused purulent lymphadenitis, were susceptible to fluoroquinolone and tetracycline, exhibited sequence type (ST) 834 or its single-locus variants and contained staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type IVc. Phylogenic analysis by PFGE and WGS revealed close relatedness of all strains, with the number of single nucleotide polymorphisms ranging from 35 to 119 by WGS. Out of the ten strains, nine possessed the genomic island SaPISaitama2 containing tst, sec and sel genes. SaPISaitama2 comprises a mosaic of genomic islands SaPIm4 and SaPIm1 harbored by a hospital-associated MRSA strain Mu50. Conclusions: This study describes a regional outbreak of ST834-related CA-MRSA in children with a unique pathogenicity island in Japan. Pediatric patient tropism of this clone could be enhanced by susceptibility to fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines, which cannot be prescribed to children.
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