Genomics Investigation of Resistance, Persistence and Transmission of Staphylococcus aureus

Online via Webex

The Department of Natural Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences is organizing a lecture by Dr. Mohamad Sater, visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and a research fellow at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, on Genomics Investigation of Resistance, Persistence and Transmission of Staphylococcus aureus.

Click here to join the lecture. 


Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal bacterium colonizing approximately 30 percent of the human population. Since emerging in 1960s and following the acquisition of the mecA resistance gene, methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) quickly became a leading cause of healthcare and community associated infections. In multiple projects, we have used retrospective surveillance, longitudinal sampling and genomics to provide insights on resistance, colonization dynamics and nosocomial transmission of S. aureus. Our work revealed a decline in S. aureus resistance in the Boston area coupled with a dynamic gain and loss of resistance determinants. We also conducted large-scale sequencing of MRSA isolates longitudinally collected from post-discharge patients to investigate colonization dynamics of the bacterium. Additionally, we show how an atypically slow outbreak of MRSA is associated with carriage and bidirectional transmission between patients and healthcare workers.