Pathogenic features of clinically significant coagulase-negative staphylococci in hospital and community infections in Benin
Abstract In West Africa, very little consideration has been given to coagulase negative Staphylococci (CNS). Herein, we describe the features contributing to the pathogenicity of 99 clinically-significant independent CNS isolates associated with infections encountered at the National Teaching Hospital Center of Cotonou (Benin). The pathogenic potentials of nosocomial strains were compared with community strains. S. haemolyticus (44%), S. epidermidis (22%) and S. hominis (7%) were the most frequently isolated while bacteremia (66.7%) and urinary tract infections (24.2%) were the most commonly encountered infections. Most strains were resistant to multiple antibiotics, including penicillin (92%), fosfomycin (81%), methicillin (74%) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (72%). The most frequently isolated species were also the most frequently resistant to methicillin: S. hominis (100%), S. haemolyticus (93%) and S. epidermidis (67%). Screening of toxic functions or toxin presence revealed hemolytic potential in 25% of strains in over 50% of human erythrocytes in 1h. Twenty-six percent of strains exhibited protease activity with low (5%), moderate (10%) and high activity (11%), while 25% of strains displayed esterase activity. Three percent of strain supernatants were able to lyse 100% of human polymorphonuclear cells after 30min. Polymerase chain reaction and latex agglutination methods revealed staphylococcal enterotoxin C gene expression in 9% of S. epidermidis . A majority of hospital-associated CNS strains ( 68%) had at least one important virulence feature, compared with only 32 % for community-acquired strains. The present investigation confirms that these microorganisms can be virulent, at least in some individual cases, possibly through genetic transfer from S. aureus .
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