The aim of the study was to characterize clinical and environmental Staphylococcus pettenkoferi isolates with regard to genomic diversity and antibiotic susceptibility pattern. Repetitive-sequence-based PCR and core genome phylogenetic analysis of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data verified the presence of distinct clades comprising closely related S. pettenkoferi isolates from different geographical locations and origins.Methodology.
Phylogenetic relationships between 25 S. pettenkoferi isolates collected from blood cultures and intra-operative air sampling were determined by repetitive-sequence-based PCR typing and analysis of ˜157000 SNPs identified in the core genome after WGS. Antibiotic susceptibility testing and tests for biofilm production (microtitre plate assay) were performed.Results.
Repetitive-sequence-based PCR as well as WGS data demonstrated the close relatedness of clinically significant blood culture isolates to probable contaminants, as well as to environmental isolates. Antibiotic-susceptibility testing demonstrated a low level of antimicrobial resistance. The mecA gene was present in two cefoxitin-resistant isolates. No isolates were found to produce biofilm.Conclusion.
Close genomic relatedness of S. pettenkoferi isolates from different geographical locations and origins were found within clades, but with substantial genomic difference between the two major clades. The ecological niche of S. pettenkoferi remains unconfirmed, but the presence of S. pettenkoferi in the air of the operating field favours the suggestion of a role in skin flora. Identification of S. pettenkoferi in clinical samples should, in a majority of cases, most likely be regarded as a probable contamination, and its role as a possible pathogen in immunocompromised hosts remains to be clarified.