Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Variability of antibiotic susceptibility and toxin production of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from skin, soft tissue, and bone related infections

Haziz Sina1, Théodora A Ahoyo2, Wardi Moussaoui3, Daniel Keller3, Honoré S Bankolé4, Yves Barogui5, Ymkje Stienstra6, Simeon O Kotchoni7, Gilles Prévost3 and Lamine Baba-Moussa1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de Biologie et de Typage Moléculaire en Microbiologie; Faculté des Sciences et Techniques/Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou 05 BP 1604, BENIN

2 EPAC/ Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou 01 BP 526, BENIN

3 Unité: EA-4438 Physiopathologie et Médecine, Institut de Bactériologie, 3 rue Koeberlé, Strasbourg F-67000, France

4 Laboratoire National de Santé Publique, Cotonou, Bénin

5 Programme National de Lutte contre l'Ulcère de Buruli, Cotonou, Benin

6 Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, P.O. Box 30.001, Groningen 9700 RB, The Netherlands

7 Department of Biology and Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Rutgers University, Camden NJ 08102, USA

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BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:188  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-188

Published: 8 August 2013



Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic commensal bacterium that mostly colonizes the skin and soft tissues. The pathogenicity of S. aureus is due to both its ability to resist antibiotics, and the production of toxins. Here, we characterize a group of genes responsible for toxin production and antibiotic resistance of S. aureus strains isolated from skin, soft tissue, and bone related infections.


A total of 136 S. aureus strains were collected from five different types of infection: furuncles, pyomyositis, abscesses, Buruli ulcers, and osteomyelitis, from hospital admissions and out-patients in Benin. All strains were resistant to benzyl penicillin, while 25% were resistant to methicillin, and all showed sensitivity to vancomycin. Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was the most commonly produced virulence factor (70%), followed by staphylococcal enterotoxin B (44%). Exfoliative toxin B was produced by 1.3% of the strains, and was only found in isolates from Buruli ulcers. The tsst-1, sec, and seh genes were rarely detected (≤1%).


This study provides new insight into the prevalence of toxin and antibiotic resistance genes in S. aureus strains responsible for skin, soft tissue, and bone infections. Our results showed that PVL was strongly associated with pyomyositis and osteomyelitis, and that there is a high prevalence of PVL-MRSA skin infections in Benin.

S. aureus; MRSA; PVL; Pyomyositis; Osteomyelitis; Skin infections; Benin; Africa