The change of the bacteria from colonizers to pathogens is accompanied by a drastic change in expression profiles. These changes may be due to environmental signals or to mutational changes. We therefore compared the whole genome sequences of four sets of S. aureus isolates. Three sets were from the same patients. The isolates of each pair (S1800/S1805, S2396/S2395, S2398/S2397, an isolate from colonization and an isolate from infection, respectively) were obtained within <30 days of each other and the isolate from infection caused skin infections. The isolates were then compared for differences in gene content and SNPs. In addition, a set of isolates from a colonized pig and a farmer from the same farm at the same time (S0462 and S0460) were analyzed. The isolates pair S1800/S1805 showed a difference in a prophage, but these are easily lost or acquired. However, S1805 contained an integrative conjugative element not present in S1800. In addition, 92 SNPs were present in a variety of genes and the isolates S1800 and S1805 were not considered a pair. Between S2395/S2396 two SNPs were present: one was in an intergenic region and one was a synonymous mutation in a putative membrane protein. Between S2397/S2398 only one synonymous mutation in a putative lipoprotein was found. The two farm isolates were very similar and showed 12 SNPs in genes that belong to a number of different functional categories. However, we cannot pinpoint any gene that explains the change from carrier status to infection. The data indicate that differences between the isolate from infection and the colonizing isolate for S2395/S2396 and S2397/S2398 exist as well as between isolates from different hosts, but S1800/S1805 are not clonal.,
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/222718 - CONtrol of COmmunity-acquired MRSA: Rationale and Development of counteractions (CONCORD)
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Schijffelen, M, Konstantinov, S.R, Lina, G, Spiliopoulou, I, van Duijkeren, E, Brouwer, E.C, & Fluit, A.C. (2013). Whole Genome Analysis of Epidemiologically Closely Related Staphylococcus aureus Isolates. PLoS ONE, 8(10). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078340