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Phenotype, genotype, and antibiotic susceptibility of Swedish and Thai oral isolates of Staphylococcus aureus

Journal article
Authors Susanne Blomqvist
Åsa Leonhardt
P. Arirachakaran
Anette Carlén
Gunnar Dahlén
Published in Journal of Oral Microbiology
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 1-7
ISSN 2000-2297
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Odontology, Section 3
Pages 1-7
Language en
Keywords Antibiotic susceptibility, HIV-positive, virulence, Oral infections, Staphylococcus aureus
Subject categories Dentistry


Objective: The present study investigated phenotypes, virulence genotypes, and antibiotic susceptibility of oral Staphylococcus aureus strains in order to get more information on whether oral infections with this bacterium are associated with certain subtypes or related to an over-growth of the S. aureus variants normally found in the oral cavity of healthy carriers. Materials and methods: A total number of 157 S. aureus strains were investigated. Sixty-two strains were isolated from Swedish adults with oral infections, 25 strains were from saliva of healthy Swedish dental students, and 45 strains were from tongue scrapings of HIV-positive subjects in Thailand, and 25 Thai strains from non-HIV controls. The isolates were tested for coagulase, nitrate, arginine, and hemolysin, and for the presence of the virulence genes: hlg, clfA, can, sdrC, sdrD, sdrE, map/eap (adhesins) and sea, seb, sec, tst, eta, etb, pvl (toxins). MIC90 and MIC50 were determined by E-test against penicillin V, oxacillin, amoxicillin, clindamycin, vancomycin, fusidic acid, and cefoxitin. Results: While the hemolytic phenotype was significantly (p<0.001) more common among the Thai strains compared to Swedish strains, the virulence genes were found in a similar frequency in the S. aureus strains isolated from all four subject groups. The Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genotype was found in 73-100% of the strains. More than 10% of the strains from Swedish oral infections and from Thai HIVpositives showed low antibiotic susceptibility, most commonly for clindamycin. Only three methicillinresistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains were identified, two from oral infections and one from a Thai HIV patient. Conclusions: S. aureus is occasionally occurring in the oral cavity in both health and disease in Sweden and Thailand. It is therefore most likely that S. aureus in opportunistic oral infections originate from the oral microbiota. S. aureus should be considered in case of oral infections and complaints and the antibiotic susceptibility (including MRSA) should regularly be checked. The frequent presence of S. aureus, although in low numbers among students and staff, emphasizes the importance of standard infection control precautions and of using diagnostic test in the dental clinic. © 2015 Susanne Blomqvist et al.

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