Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most frequent pathogens infecting the respiratory tract of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). This study was the first to examine S. aureus isolates from CF patients in the Czech Republic. Among 100 S. aureus isolates from 92 of 107 observed patients, we found a high prevalence of resistance to macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B (MLS(B)) antibiotics (56%). More than half of the resistant strains (29 of 56) carried a mutation in the MLS(B) target site. The emergence of MLS(B) resistance and mutations conferring resistance to MLS(B) antibiotics was associated with azithromycin treatment (p=0.000000184 and p=0.000681, respectively). Methicillin resistance was only detected in 3% of isolates and the rate of resistance to other antibiotics did not exceed 12%. The prevalence of small-colony variant (SCV) strains was relatively low (9%) and eight of nine isolates with the SCV phenotype were thymidine dependent. The study population of S. aureus was heterogeneous in structure and both the most prevalent community-associated and hospital-acquired clonal lineages were represented. Of the virulence genes, enterotoxin genes seg (n=52), sei (n=49), and sec (n=16) were the most frequently detected among the isolates. The PVL genes (lukS-PV and lukF-PV) have not been revealed in any of the isolates.
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