An Unexpected Location of the Arginine Catabolic Mobile Element (ACME) in a USA300-Related MRSA Strain

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In methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) was initially described
in USA300 (t008-ST8) where it is located downstream of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). A common
health-care associated MRSA in Copenhagen, Denmark (t024-ST8) is clonally related to USA300 and is frequently PCR
positive for the ACME specific arcA-gene. This study is the first to describe an ACME element upstream of the SCCmec in
MRSA. By traditional SCCmec typing schemes, the SCCmec of t024-ST8 strain M1 carries SCCmec IVa, but full sequencing of
the cassette revealed that the entire J3 region had no homology to published SCCmec IVa. Within the J3 region of M1 was a
1705 bp sequence only similar to a sequence in S. haemolyticus strain JCSC1435 and 2941 bps with no homology found in
GenBank. In addition to the usual direct repeats (DR) at each extremity of SCCmec, M1 had two new DR between the orfX
gene and the J3 region of the SCCmec. The region between the orfX DR (DR1) and DR2 contained the ccrAB4 genes. An
ACME II-like element was located between DR2 and DR3. The entire 26,468 bp sequence between DR1 and DR3 was highly
similar to parts of the ACME composite island of S. epidermidis strain ATCC12228. Sequencing of an ACME negative t024-ST8
strain (M299) showed that DR1 and the sequence between DR1 and DR3 was missing. The finding of a mobile ACME II-like
element inserted downstream of orfX and upstream of SCCmec indicates a novel recombination between staphylococcal
TidsskriftP L o S One
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider5
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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