DOI: 10.1101/19011445Nov 12, 2019Paper

Genomic Epidemiology of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Two Cohorts of High-Risk Military Trainees

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Robyn S LeeW. P. Hanage

Abstract

Background. MRSA skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) is a significant cause of morbidity in military trainees. To guide interventions, it is critical we understand the epidemiology of MRSA in this population. Methods. Two cohorts ( companies) of US Army Infantry trainees (N=343) at Fort Benning, GA, USA, were followed during their training cycles (Jun.-Dec. 2015). Trainees had nares, oropharynx, perianal and inguinal areas swabbed for MRSA colonization at five ~2-4 week intervals, and monitored for SSTI throughout training. Epidemiological data were collected. Isolates were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq and NovaSeq. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms and clusters were identified. Multi-locus sequence type (MLST) and antimicrobial resistance genes were predicted from de novo assemblies. Results. 87 trainees were positive at least once for MRSA (12 had SSTI, 2 without any colonization). Excluding those positive at baseline, 43.7% were colonized within the first month of training. 244/254 samples were successfully sequenced (including all SSTI). ST8 (n=135, 100% of SSTI), ST5 (n=81) and ST87 (n=21) were the most represented. Three main Clusters were identified, largely corresponding to these STs. Sub-analyses within Clusters showe...Continue Reading

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