Abstract Title

Distribution of methicillin resistance gene, mecA, in Staphylococcus aureus genomes

Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a gram-positive bacteria, is an important pathogen, posing a global health threat. Resistance to the antibiotic methicillin develops when a susceptible bacterial strain of S. aureus (MSSA) acquires a resistance gene, mecA, which is carried on a mobile genetic element, referred to as Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec). It has been hypothesized that MRSA originated through the horizontal gene transfer of SCCmec from another species, S. epidermidis O7.1, to MSSA. However, it remains unclear whether it was a single transfer event, or whether such transfer can occur repeatedly. Understanding this would be important for MRSA control. In this project we examine publicly available genomes of S. aureus and related species to determine presence of mecA genes and to visualize the distribution of this gene among strains using the phylogenetic tree approach.

Modified Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important pathogen, posing a global health threat. Resistance to the antibiotic methicillin develops when a susceptible bacterial strain of S. aureus (MSSA) acquires a resistance gene, mecA, which is carried on a mobile genetic element, referred to as Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec). It has been hypothesized that MRSA originated through the horizontal gene transfer of SCCmec from another species, S. epidermidis O7.1, to MSSA. However, it remains unclear whether it was a single transfer event, or whether such transfer can occur repeatedly. In this project we examine publicly available genomes of S. aureus and related species to determine presence of mecA genes and to visualize the distribution of this gene among strains using the phylogenetic tree approach.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Biotechnology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Helen Piontkivska

Mentor #2 Information

Dr. Tara Smith

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

March 2016

Research Area

Bioinformatics | Biotechnology | Epidemiology | Genetics and Genomics

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Mar 15th, 1:00 PM

Distribution of methicillin resistance gene, mecA, in Staphylococcus aureus genomes

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a gram-positive bacteria, is an important pathogen, posing a global health threat. Resistance to the antibiotic methicillin develops when a susceptible bacterial strain of S. aureus (MSSA) acquires a resistance gene, mecA, which is carried on a mobile genetic element, referred to as Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec). It has been hypothesized that MRSA originated through the horizontal gene transfer of SCCmec from another species, S. epidermidis O7.1, to MSSA. However, it remains unclear whether it was a single transfer event, or whether such transfer can occur repeatedly. Understanding this would be important for MRSA control. In this project we examine publicly available genomes of S. aureus and related species to determine presence of mecA genes and to visualize the distribution of this gene among strains using the phylogenetic tree approach.