Staphylococcus hominis subsp. novobiosepticus strains causing nosocomial bloodstream infection in Brazil

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To report the isolation of six Staphylococcus hominis subsp. novobiosepticus (SHN) strains from hospitalized patients with bloodstream infections in two Brazilian hospitals and to characterize their susceptibility profile to several antimicrobials.


Species identification was performed by biochemical methods and sodA gene sequencing. The MICs of antimicrobials were determined by broth and agar dilution methods and by Etest. Isolates were typed by PFGE and PCR amplification was used to detect the ccr gene complex and the mec class. Morphometric evaluation of cell wall was performed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM).


Susceptibility profiles indicated that the majority of isolates (five) were multidrug-resistant. Overlapping and multiplex PCR showed that five out of the six strains harboured SCCmec type III with class A mec and type 3 ccr. The initial vancomycin MIC value of 4 mg/L for these strains increased to 16–32 mg/L after growth for 10 days in BHI broth supplemented with this antimicrobial. TEM indicated that vancomycin resistance was associated with cell wall thickening and to another mechanism not fully elucidated. Only one SHN strain was oxacillin- and vancomycin-susceptible. The nosocomial infections in at least five of the patients from both hospitals were caused by a single clone of SHN.


It is very important to consider SHN strains as the cause of nosocomial infections. The clinical implications resulting from the pattern of multidrug resistance in these strains may be complicated by the emergence of vancomycin resistance.

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