Whole genome sequencing of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus epidermidis clinical isolates reveals variable composite sccmec acme among different sts in a tertiary care hospital in oman

Zaaima Al-Jabri*, Zahra Al-Shabibi, Atika Al-Bimani, Amal Al-Hinai, Ammar Al-Shabibi, Meher Rizvi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Staphylococcus epidermidis has been recently recognized as an emerging nosocomial pathogen. There are concerns over the increasing virulence potential of this commensal due to the capabilities of transferring mobile genetic elements to Staphylococcus aureus through staphylococcal chromosomal cassette (SCCmec) and the closely related arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) and the copper and mercury resistance island (COMER). The potential pathogenicity of S. epidermidis, particularly from blood stream infections, has been poorly investigated. In this study, 24 S. epidermidis isolated from blood stream infections from Oman were investigated using whole genome sequence analysis. Core genome phylogenetic trees revealed one third of the isolates belong to the multidrug resistance ST-2. Genomic analysis unraveled a common occurrence of SCCmec type IV and ACME element predominantly type I arranged in a composite island. The genetic composition of ACME was highly variable among isolates of same or different STs. The COMER-like island was absent in all of our isolates. Reduced copper susceptibility was observed among isolates of ST-2 and ACME type I, followed by ACME type V. In conclusion, in this work, we identify a prevalent occurrence of highly variable ACME elements in different hospital STs of S. epidermidis in Oman, thus strongly suggesting the hypothesis that ACME types evolved from closely related STs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1824
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ACME
  • Mobile genetic element
  • SCCmec
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology

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