The dynamic changes of dominant clones of Staphylococcus aureus causing bloodstream infections in the European region: results of a second structured survey.
Grundmann H., Schouls LM., Aanensen DM., Pluister GN., Tami A., Chlebowicz M., Glasner C., Sabat AJ., Weist K., Heuer O., Friedrich AW., ESCMID Study Group on Molecular Epidemiological Markers None., European Staphylococcal Reference Laboratory Working Group None.
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important human pathogens and meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) presents a major cause of healthcare- and community-acquired infections. This study investigated the spatial and temporal changes of S. aureus causing bacteraemia in Europe over a five-year interval and explored the possibility of integrating pathogen-based typing data with epidemiological and clinical information at a European level. Between January 2011 and July 2011, 350 laboratories serving 453 hospitals in 25 countries collected 3,753 isolates (meticillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and MRSA) from patients with S. aureus bloodstream infections. All isolates were sent to the national staphylococcal reference laboratories and characterised by quality-controlled spa typing. Data were uploaded to an interactive web-based mapping tool. A wide geographical distribution of spa types was found, with some prevalent in all European countries. MSSA was more diverse than MRSA. MRSA differed considerably between countries with major international clones expanding or receding when compared to a 2006 survey. We provide evidence that a network approach of decentralised typing and visualisation of aggregated data using an interactive mapping tool can provide important information on the dynamics of S. aureus populations such as early signalling of emerging strains, cross-border spread and importation by travel.