Whole genome sequencing to investigate a putative outbreak of the virulent community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST93 clone in a remote Indigenous community
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We report two cases of severe pneumonia due to clone ST93 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) presenting from a remote Australian Indigenous community within a 2-week period, and the utilization of whole genome sequences to determine whether these were part of an outbreak. S. aureus was isolated from 12 of 92 nasal swabs collected from 25 community households (including the two index households); one isolate was ST93. Three of five skin lesion S. aureus isolates obtained at the community were ST93. Whole genome sequencing of the ST93 isolates from this study and a further 20 ST93 isolates from the same region suggested that recent transmission and progression to disease had not taken place. The proximity in time and space of the two severe pneumonia cases is probably a reflection of the high burden of disease due to ST93 MRSA in this population where skin infections and household crowding are common.