Identification of the third type of PVL phage in ST59 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains.FEMS Microbiol Lett 2011; 323(1):20-8FM
The genes lukS-PV and lukF-PV for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) that confers high virulence to Staphylococcus aureus are located on the prophages (PVL phages) which have been classified into group 1 and 2 sfi21-like Siphoviridae. We report novel PVL phages lysogenized in ST59 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains isolated in Japan (JCSC7247) and Taiwan (JCSC5967). The genomes of φ7247PVL and φ5967PVL showed more than 99% identity, and the regions containing the five genes located at both ends of the prophages, int (integrase), hol (holin), ami (amidase), lukS-PV, and lukF-PV, are highly homologous to extant PVL phages. The genes for the structural module are less homologous to these phages, but are highly homologous to non-PVL phages belonging to group 3 Sfi21-like Siphoviridae, for example φN315. Subsequent PCR identification and nucleotide sequencing of an additional 11 Taiwanese ST59 MRSA isolates suggested they all carry the same phage as φ5967PVL, which differed from φ7247PVL by a single base. This study adds evidence to the notion that novel PVL phages would be generated through illegitimate recombination events by acquiring the region at which hol, ami, luk, and int genes would line up upon lytic growth, and suggests that the PVL-positive MRSA clones that have emerged worldwide may carry distinct phages.