Scientific article

Niche specialization and spread of Staphylococcus capitis involved in neonatal sepsis

CollaboratorsSchrenzel, Jacques
Published inNature Microbiology, vol. 5, no. 5, p. 735-745
Publication date2020

The multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus capitis NRCS-A clone is responsible for sepsis in preterm infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) worldwide. Here, to retrace the spread of this clone and to identify drivers of its specific success, we investigated a representative collection of 250 S. capitis isolates from adults and newborns. Bayesian analyses confirmed the spread of the NRCS-A clone and enabled us to date its emergence in the late 1960s and its expansion during the 1980s, coinciding with the establishment of NICUs and the increasing use of vancomycin in these units, respectively. This dynamic was accompanied by the acquisition of mutations in antimicrobial resistance- and bacteriocin-encoding genes. Furthermore, combined statistical tools and a genome-wide association study convergently point to vancomycin resistance as a major driver of NRCS-A success. We also identified another S. capitis subclade (alpha clade) that emerged independently, showing parallel evolution towards NICU specialization and non-susceptibility to vancomycin, indicating convergent evolution in NICU-associated pathogens. These findings illustrate how the broad use of antibiotics can repeatedly lead initially commensal drug-susceptible bacteria to evolve into multidrug-resistant clones that are able to successfully spread worldwide and become pathogenic for highly vulnerable patients.

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial/drug effects/genetics
  • France
  • Genes, Bacterial/genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mutation
  • Neonatal Sepsis/microbiology
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Staphylococcal Infections/microbiology
  • Staphylococcus capitis/drug effects/genetics/isolation & purification/pathogenicity
  • Vancomycin/therapeutic use
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
WIRTH, Thierry et al. Niche specialization and spread of Staphylococcus capitis involved in neonatal sepsis. In: Nature Microbiology, 2020, vol. 5, n° 5, p. 735–745. doi: 10.1038/s41564-020-0676-2
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2058-5276

Technical informations

Creation08/25/2021 12:58:00 PM
First validation08/25/2021 12:58:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 2:13:48 AM
Status update03/16/2023 2:13:46 AM
Last indexation01/17/2024 3:43:04 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack