The evolutionary pathway of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome element
|Year of publication
|Article in Periodical
|Magazine / Source
|MU Faculty or unit
|Genetics and molecular biology
|Staphylococcus; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); staphylococcal cassette chromosome; evolution; mobile genetic elements
|The staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) element can carry resistance genes to antibiotics, disinfectants, and heavy metals, contributing to the survival of strains in the environment and causing difficulties in the treatment of staphylococcal infections. Methicillin resistance in staphylococci, which is of particular clinical significance, is encoded by staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). Despite the importance of the SCC element and description of multiple nucleotide sequences, the information about its origin and evolution is still scarce. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis of SCC elements that is unique in the use of whole SCC sequences. A phylogenetic tree for a noteworthy number of 81 SCC elements based on global sequence alignment was constructed. The SCC clustering did not reflect the genetic relationships of bacteria containing the SCC elements, but was done according to type, determined by the combination of mec gene complex class and ccr gene complex type. The results emphasise the horizontal gene transfer as a means of spread of SCC elements in bacterial strains. Overall, this study contributes to the understanding of SCC emergence, evolution, and dissemination.