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An unusual outbreak in the Netherlands: community-onset impetigo caused by a meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with additional resistance to fusidic acid, June 2018 to January 2020.

Vendrik, K.E.W., Kuijper, E.J., Dimmendaal, M., Silvis, W., Denie-Verhaegh, E., Boer, A. de, Postma, B., Schoffelen, A.F., Ruijs, W.L.M., Koene, F.M.H.P.A., Petrignani, M., Hooiveld, M., Witteveen, S., Schouls, L.M., Notermans, D.W. An unusual outbreak in the Netherlands: community-onset impetigo caused by a meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with additional resistance to fusidic acid, June 2018 to January 2020. Eurosurveillance: 2022, 27(49), Art. nr. 2200245
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Objective
In this retrospective observational study, we analysed a community outbreak of impetigo with meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), with additional resistance to fusidic acid (first-line treatment).

Background
The outbreak occurred between June 2018 and January 2020 in the eastern part of the Netherlands with an epidemiological link to three cases from the north-western part. Forty nine impetigo cases and eight carrier cases were identified, including 47 children. All but one impetigo case had community-onset of symptoms. Pharmacy prescription data for topical mupirocin and fusidic acid and GP questionnaires suggested an underestimated outbreak size.

Analasys
The 57 outbreak isolates were identified by the Dutch MRSA surveillance as MLVA-type MT4627 and sequence type 121, previously reported only once in 2014. Next-generation sequencing revealed they contained a fusidic acid resistance gene, exfoliative toxin genes and an epidermal cell differentiation inhibitor gene. Whole-genome multilocus sequence typing revealed genetic clustering of all 19 sequenced isolates from the outbreak region and isolates from the three north-western cases. The allelic distances between these Dutch isolates and international isolates were high.

Conclusion
This outbreak shows the appearance of community-onset MRSA strains with additional drug resistance and virulence factors in a country with a low prevalence of antimicrobial resistance.