The objectives of this study were: (i) to determine the species diversity of CoNS isolated from bloodstream infections collected during a national surveillance study; and (ii) to examine the antimicrobial resistance and genomic diversity among Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates.Methods
Eighty CoNS were identified by MALDI-TOF. Antimicrobial resistance determination, molecular characterization of resistance and virulence genes, and molecular typing were performed for S. epidermidis isolates.Results
The majority (76%) of CoNS were identified as S. epidermidis. Among these S. epidermidis, 77% were resistant to methicillin [methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis (MRSE)] and showed multiresistance to other antimicrobials. Genes implicated in resistance were erm(C), erm(A) and msr(A) for erythromycin, aacA-aphD and aadC for aminoglycosides, tet(K) for tetracycline and mupA for high-level resistance to mupirocin. Molecular typing showed that 34/40 MRSE isolates (85%) belonged to clonal complex (CC) 2 that could be subdivided into CC2-I (ST2) and CC2-II (ST5, ST59 and ST88). In contrast, methicillin-susceptible S. epidermidis displayed high genomic diversity. The majority (70%) of S. epidermidis isolates contained an icaA or arcA gene. The icaA gene was found in the CC2-I subgroup, whereas arcA was more common in methicillin-susceptible S. epidermidis.Conclusions
S. epidermidis was frequently recovered among CoNS isolated from bloodstream infections with a high proportion of MRSE being multiresistant. A large number of S. epidermidis belonged to CC2, a clone that is disseminated worldwide. More studies are needed to understand its clonal evolutionary success.