ReportsInfectious Disease

Longitudinal genomic surveillance of MRSA in the UK reveals transmission patterns in hospitals and the community

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Science Translational Medicine  25 Oct 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 413, eaak9745
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aak9745

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On the trail of MRSA

Genome sequencing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been successfully applied to investigate suspected outbreaks. Coll et al. now extend its application to the genomic surveillance of MRSA in samples from 1465 people identified over a 12-month period by a diagnostic laboratory in the East of England. This analysis identified 173 putative outbreaks involving 598 patients and included hospital outbreaks, those spanning the hospital and community, and community outbreaks among people registered with the same medical practice or living in the same household or long-term care facility. This study illustrates that sequencing is a powerful tool that could be used to identify infectious disease outbreaks as they happen.