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Contemporary genomic approaches in the diagnosis and typing of Staphylococcus aureus

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen, causing disease in both community and healthcare settings. Over the past two decades, the epidemiology of S. aureus disease has changed dramatically, with the emergence and spread of community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus clones. This epidemiological shift, coupled with the association between delayed antimicrobial therapy and increased mortality in S. aureus bacteraemia, has greatly facilitated advances in the rapid molecular diagnosis of S. aureus. Rapid molecular testing for S. aureus can greatly reduce laboratory turnaround time, and in some circumstances, may lead to improved clinical outcomes. In addition, advances in DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatic analysis have shed new lights on the molecular epidemiology and transmission dynamics of S. aureus. In this context, weprovide an overview of the key advances in the molecular diagnosis and typing of S. aureus, with a particular focus on the clinical impact and utility of genomic technologies.

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