Staphylococcus epidermidis

Typing Services
SepMLST ($250 per sample)

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$70/60/55/50 for 1/2/3/4 or more samples

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a common commensal of the skin and nares, where it plays a beneficial role by inhibiting colonization with pathogenic microbes. A breach in the skin, however, can result in S. epidermidis dissemination through the bloodstream. In the hospital setting, this is often associated with surgical procedures, implants, and intravascular cathethers, and NICU patients are at particularly high risk. Relatedly, S. epidermidis is adept at forming biofilms on catheters, implants, indwelling prostheses, and native or prosthetic heart valves. Furthermore, many S. epidermidis strains exhibit antibiotic resistance, and probably serve as a reservoir for transmission of SCCmec to methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, generating MRSA.

In light of its role in nosocomial infections and its high strain diversity (1), S. epidermidis has been the subject of multiple typing studies. Although PFGE (pulsed field gel electrophoresis) may provide higher resolution, its limitations (high cost, poor portability) are widely acknowledged, and hence MLST (multilocus sequence typing) and, to a lesser extent, MLVA (multilocus variable number of tandem repeats analysis) are increasingly employed (limited again, respectively, by high cost and low portability).

MicrobiType offers SepMLST for S. epidermidis genotyping, targeting the same 7 housekeeping genes as conventional MLST, but using genomics-optimized primers to enhance sequence quality and reproducibility, ultimately reducing cost (about half that of conventional MLST). Results are reported as sequence types (ST#).

Recognizing the need for greater affordability, however, MicrobiType also offers SepMT1 and SepMT2. These complementary, genomics-optimized systems target polymorphic and hence maximally informative DNA regions previously validated as targets for size-based MLVA (2,3,4), but through sequence-based typing the strain resolution is significantly increased. As shown in the SepMT1 dendrogram and SepMT2 dendrogram, these services resolve 28 of 40 strains and 20 of 27 strains, respectively (several of which are epidemiologically related and as expected cluster together). Combined, the two services provide even greater resolution. Results are reported in terms of a similar dendrogram along with sequence alignment showing the closest match of the submitted strain to concurrently or previously submitted strains from your lab, and to previously sequenced strains in the NCBI-GenBank database.

(1)  Conlan S et al (2012). Genome Biology 13:R64.
(2)  Johansson A et al (2006). J Clin Microbiol 44:260.
(3)  Francois P et al (2008). J Microbiol Met 72:296.
(4)  Ohlin A et al (2010). Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 29:699.

(MicrobiType services are for research/investigational use only)