Community and nosocomial transmission of Panton-Valentine leucocidin-positive community-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: implications for healthcare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • JM Orendi
  • N Coetzee
  • MJ Ellington
  • E Boakes
  • BD Cookson
  • AM Kearns

Colleges, School and Institutes


In the UK, infections due to Panton-Valentine leucocidin-positive community-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (PVL-MRSA) have been reported sporadically. In September 2006, a fatal PVL-MRSA infection occurred in a Filipino healthcare worker (HCW) after she underwent caesarean section. Throat and nasal swabs were obtained from contacts of cases in community and hospital. MRSA with an antibiogram similar to the PVL-MRSA strain were characterised including toxin gene profiling, polymerase chain reaction- and sequence-based typing. Carriers underwent decolonisation treatment, and HCWs were restricted from patient care until they and their household members were considered negative for PVL-MRSA. The PVL-MRSA belonged to ST30, was protein A gene (spa) type t019, SCCmec IVc, agr 3, and resistant only to beta-lactam antibiotics. Representatives of the same lineage were identified among a further 16 individuals in community and hospital. Infections likely to be caused by PVL-MRSA had occurred in 12 cases, and were likely to be hospital-acquired in two patients (one fatal) and occupationally acquired in one HCW. Nine cases worked as nursing staff in the hospital. Eight of these had emigrated from the Philippines in the previous five years and were linked socially. Thus, PVL-MRSA-ST30 was detected in a HCW community in the UK. This is the first report of nosocomial transmission of this pandemic clone in the UK associated with a fatality. Increased vigilance in healthcare and community is needed in response to this emerging threat.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-64
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of hospital infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010