Spread of Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates carrying Panton-Valentine leukocidin genes during a 3-year period in Greece

V. Chini, E. Petinaki, A. Foka, S. Paratiras, G. Dimitracopoulos, I. Spiliopoulou

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Three collections of Staphylococcus aureus isolates (n = 1058) were investigated to assess the spread of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-producing strains in Greece and their association with skin and softtissue infections (SSTIs). The isolates were collected during 2001-2003 from inpatients and outpatients with invasive infections in two distinct geographical areas. Clonal types were identified according to their ClaI-mecA::ClaI-Tn554::pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns, and the presence of the lukS-PV and lukF-PV genes was assessed by PCR. In total, 287 (27%) S. aureus isolates carried the PVL genes: 45% of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and 12% of methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA). All the PVLpositive MRSA isolates belonged to a single clone that was disseminated in the community and hospitals. The PVL-positive MSSA isolates were polyclonal, with 14 of 65 isolates being associated with hospital-acquired infections. The community-acquired isolates were from SSTIs, while the hospitalacquired isolates were associated with surgical wound infections, especially those involving prosthetic devices. Thus, a unique clone of PVL-positive MRSA has spread in both the community and the hospital setting in Greece, and has replaced older clonal types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Clones
  • Greece
  • MRSA
  • Panton-Valentine leukocidin
  • Skin and soft-tissue infections
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

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