Global epidemiology and evolutionary history of staphylococcus aureus ST45

N. Effelsberg, M. Stegger, L. Peitzmann, O. Altinok, G. W. Coombs, Bruno Pichon, A. Kearns, P. R. Randad, C. D. Heaney, S. Bletz, F. Schaumburg, A. Mellmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Staphylococcus aureus ST45 is a major global MRSA lineage with huge strain diversity and a high clinical impact. It is one of the most prevalent carrier lineages but also frequently causes severe invasive disease, such as bacteremia. Little is known about its evolutionary history. In this study, we used whole-genome sequencing to analyze a large collection of 451 diverse ST45 isolates from 6 continents and 26 countries. De novo-assembled genomes were used to understand genomic plasticity and to perform coalescent analyses. The ST45 population contained two distinct sublineages, which correlated with the isolates' geographical origins. One sublineage primarily consisted of European/North American isolates, while the second sublineage primarily consisted of African and Australian isolates. Bayesian analysis predicted ST45 originated in northwestern Europe about 500 years ago. Isolation time, host, and clinical symptoms did not correlate with phylogenetic groups. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest multiple acquisitions of the SCCmec element and key virulence factors throughout the evolution of the ST45 lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02198-20
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the Research Network Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (project number 1Health-PREVENT, grant no. 01Kl1727A) and the Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) project number 281125614/ GRK2220. C.D.H. was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grants R01AI130066, R21AI139784, and R43AI141265, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) grant K01OH010193, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) grant R01ES026973, and the E.W. “Al” Thrasher Award 10287. P.R.R. and C.D.H. were additionally supported by a gift from the GRACE Communications Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication. We declare that we have no actual or potential competing financial interests.


  • Evolution
  • MRSA
  • MRSA evolution
  • Phylogeny
  • ST45
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Whole-genome sequencing
  • whole-genome sequencing
  • evolution
  • USA600 ST45
  • phylogeny


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