A statistical genomics framework to trace bacterial genomic predictors of clinical outcomes in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia

Stefano G. Giulieri, Romain Guérillot, Natasha E. Holmes, Sarah L. Baines, Abderrahman Hachani, Ashleigh S. Hayes, Diane S. Daniel, Torsten Seemann, Joshua S. Davis, Sebastiaan Van Hal, Steven Y.C. Tong, Timothy P. Stinear, Benjamin P. Howden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Downloads (Pure)


Outcomes of severe bacterial infections are determined by the interplay between host, pathogen, and treatments. While human genomics has provided insights into host factors impacting Staphylococcus aureus infections, comparatively little is known about S. aureus genotypes and disease severity. Building on the hypothesis that bacterial pathoadaptation is a key outcome driver, we developed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) framework to identify adaptive mutations associated with treatment failure and mortality in S. aureus bacteremia (1,358 episodes). Our research highlights the potential of vancomycin-selected mutations and vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) as key explanatory variables to predict infection severity. The contribution of bacterial variation was much lower for clinical outcomes (heritability <5%); however, GWASs allowed us to identify additional, MIC-independent candidate pathogenesis loci. Using supervised machine learning, we were able to quantify the predictive potential of these adaptive signatures. Our statistical genomics framework provides a powerful means to capture adaptive mutations impacting severe bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113069
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCell Reports
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023

Cite this