Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a nosocomial pathogen in community settings. MRSA colonized individuals may contribute to its dissemination; the risk of MRSA infection is increased in human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) patients, although the prevalence of colonization in this group is not well established. The present study addressed this issue by characterizing MRSA isolates from HIV/AIDS patients and their healthcare providers (HCPs) to determine whether transmission occurred between these two populations.
A total of 24 MRSA isolates from HIV-infected patients and five from HCPs were collected between August 2011 and May 2013. Susceptibility to currently available antimicrobials was determined. Epidemiological typing was carried out by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, and Staphylococcus cassette chromosome (SCCmec) typing. The presence of heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (hVISA) and heterogeneous daptomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (hDRSA) was confirmed by population analysis profile. Isolates characterized in this study were also compared to isolates from 2009 obtained from patients at the same hospital.
A variety of lineages were found among patients, including ST5-SCCmecII and ST30-SCCmecIV. Two isolates were Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive, and hVISA and hDRSA were detected. MRSA isolates from two HCPs were not related to those from HIV/AIDS patients, but clustered with archived MRSA from 2009 with no known relationship to the current study population.
ST105-SCCmecII clones that colonized professionals in 2011 and 2012 were already circulating among patients in 2009, but there is no evidence that these clones spread to or between HIV/AIDS patients up to the 7th day of their hospitalization.