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Genomic characterization and outcome of prosthetic joint infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus

  • Wildeman, Peter1, 2
  • Tevell, Staffan2, 3
  • Eriksson, Carl2
  • Lagos, Amaya Campillay4
  • Söderquist, Bo2, 4
  • Stenmark, Bianca4
  • 1 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden , Örebro (Sweden)
  • 2 School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden , Örebro (Sweden)
  • 3 Department of Infectious Diseases, Karlstad, and Centre for Clinical Research, Region Värmland, Karlstad, Sweden , Karlstad (Sweden)
  • 4 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden , Örebro (Sweden)
Published Article
Scientific Reports
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Apr 03, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-62751-z
Springer Nature


Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal colonizing the skin and mucous membranes. It can also act as a pathogen, and is the most common microorganism isolated from prosthetic joint infections (PJIs). The aim of this study was to explore the genomic relatedness between commensal and PJI S. aureus strains as well as microbial traits and host-related risk factors for treatment failure. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was performed on S. aureus isolates obtained from PJIs (n = 100) and control isolates from nares (n = 101). Corresponding clinical data for the PJI patients were extracted from medical records. No PJI-specific clusters were found in the WGS phylogeny, and the distribution of the various clonal complexes and prevalence of virulence genes among isolates from PJIs and nares was almost equal. Isolates from patients with treatment success and failure were genetically very similar, while the presence of an antibiotic-resistant phenotype and the use of non-biofilm-active antimicrobial treatment were both associated with failure.In conclusion, commensal and PJI isolates of S. aureus in arthroplasty patients were genetically indistinguishable, suggesting that commensal S. aureus clones are capable of causing PJIs. Furthermore, no association between genetic traits and outcome could be demonstrated, stressing the importance of patient-related factors in the treatment of S. aureus PJIs.

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