Adaptation to vancomycin pressure of multiresistant Staphylococcus capitis NRCS-A involved in neonatal sepsis

M. Butin, P. Martins-Simões, J. C. Picaud, Angela Kearns, O. Claris, F. Vandenesch, F. Laurent*, J. P. Rasigade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The Staphylococcus capitis clone NRCS-A has recently been described as a frequent cause of late-onset sepsis (LOS) in pre-term neonates worldwide. Representatives of this clone exhibit non-susceptibility to vancomycin, the first-line agent used in LOS. Cases of prolonged S. capitis LOS despite vancomycin treatment have been reported. We investigated whether NRCS-A strains exhibit faster adaptation to vancomycin pressure as compared with other staphylococci. Methods: Strains of S. capitis NRCS-A, S. capitis non-NRCS-A and Staphylococcus epidermidis (n=2 each, all with vancomycin MICs ≤2 mg/L) and the prototype vancomycin-heteroresistant Staphylococcus aureus Mu3 were subcultured daily for 15 days with 0.25-32 mg/L vancomycin. Regression coefficients of daily log2 MICs on time were used to estimate the kinetics of resistance development. Changes in bacterial cell-wall thickness were measured by transmission electron microscopy. To assess the stability of resistance and the emergence of cross-resistance, vancomycin, teicoplanin, daptomycin and linezolid MICs were measured before and after vancomycin treatment, as well as after nine additional subcultures without antibiotics. Results: All strains developed a stable resistance to vancomycin, but this occurred significantly faster in S. capitis NRCS-A than in S. capitis non-NRCS-A (P<0.001) and other species (P<0.0001). Vancomycin resistance in S. capitis NRCS-A was associated with significant cell-wall thickening and an increase in MICs of daptomycin and teicoplanin, but not linezolid. Conclusions: S. capitis NRCS-A rapidly adapts to vancomycin pressure as compared with potential niche competitors, a feature that might contribute to its success in neonatal ICUs where vancomycin is widely prescribed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3027-3031
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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