Staphylococcus argenteus is an emerging pathogen that is recognized as non-pigmented Staphylococcus aureus. However, the molecular characteristics of S. argenteus and its virulence factors have not been well studied. The present study analyzed 96 isolates of S. argenteus recovered from blood. Identification of S. argenteus was based on results of MALDI-TOF MS and lacking crtM gene. All 96 isolates were methicillin-susceptible. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) revealed four sequence types: ST2250 (n = 72), ST2793 (n = 12), ST1223 (n = 10), and ST2198 (n = 2). All 72 ST2250 isolates harbored CRISPR loci with polymorphism of direct repeats and spacers, but no other STs carried CRISPR loci. To date, ST2793 isolates have rarely been reported in other countries. Collagen-binding adhesin gene (cna) and staphylococcal enterotoxin type C (sec) were detected in 12 (100%) and 8 (67%) ST2793 isolates, respectively. ST1223 has been reported as food poisoning pathogens, and enterotoxin gene clusters (egc) were detected in all 10 isolates, while seb gene was detected in three isolates. Two ST2198 isolates carried bone sialoprotein-binding protein gene (bbp), belonging to agr type IV. Our focus on the heterogeneity of molecular characterization in four ST types of S. argenteus revealed that S. argenteus had been isolated as early as 2000. Each ST type of S. argenteus harbors particular genetic markers that may contribute to their virulence.
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