A link between virulence and ecological abundance in natural populations of Staphylococcus aureus

N. P.J. Day*, C. E. Moore, M. C. Enright, A. R. Berendt, J. Maynard Smith, M. F. Murphy, S. J. Peacock, B. G. Spratt, E. J. Feil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of severe infection in humans and yet is carried without symptoms by a large proportion of the population. We used multilocus sequence typing to characterize isolates of S. aureus recovered from asymptomatic nasal carriage and from episodes of severe disease within a defined population. We identified a number of frequently carried genotypes that were disproportionately common as causes of disease, even taking into account their relative abundance among carriage isolates. The existence of these ecologically abundant hypervirulent clones suggests that factors promoting the ecological fitness of this important pathogen also increase its virulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-116
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume292
Issue number5514
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

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