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The widespread use of topical antimicrobials enriches for resistance in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from Atopic Dermatitis patients

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C. P. Harkins, M. A. McAleer, D. Bennett, M. McHugh, O. M. Fleury, K. A. Pettigrew, K. Oravcová, J. Parkhill, C. M. Proby, R. S. Dawe, J. A. Geoghegan, A. D. Irvine, M. T. G. Holden

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Abstract

Background: Carriage rates of Staphylococcus aureus on affected skin in atopic dermatitis (AD) are approximately 70 Increasing disease severity during flares and overall disease severity correlate with increased burden of S. aureus. Treatment in AD therefore often targets S. aureus, with topical and systemic antimicrobials.

Objectives: To determine if antimicrobial sensitivities and genetic determinants of resistance differed in S. aureus isolates from the skin of children with AD compared with healthy child nasal carriers.

Methods:  In this case‐control study, we compared S. aureus isolates from children with AD (n=50) attending a hospital dermatology department to nasal carriage isolates from children without skin disease (n=49) attending a hospital emergency department for non‐infective conditions. Using whole genome sequencing we generated a phylogenetic framework for the isolates based on variation in the core genome, then compared antimicrobial resistance phenotype and genotypes between disease groups.

Results and conclusions:  S. aureus from cases and controls had on average similar numbers of phenotypic resistances per isolate. Case isolates differed in their resistance patterns, with Fusidic acid resistance (FusR) being significantly more frequent in AD (p=0.009). The genetic basis of FusR also differentiated the populations, with chromosomal mutations in fusA predominating in AD (p=0.049). Analysis revealed that FusR evolved multiple times and via multiple mechanism in the population. Carriage of plasmid derived qac genes, which have been associated with reduced susceptibility to antiseptics, was 8 times more frequent in AD (p=0.016). The results suggest strong selective pressure drives the emergence and maintenance of specific resistances in AD.
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
VolumeEarly View
Early online date24 Jul 2018
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2018

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