Staphylococcus aureus from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis show minimal genetic association between polyp and non-polyp phenotypes

Bardy, Jake Jervis, Sarovich, Derek S., Price, Erin, Steinig, Eike, Tong, Steven, Drilling, Amanda, Ou, Judy, Vreugde, Sarah, Wormald, Peter-John, and Psaltis, Alkis J. (2018) Staphylococcus aureus from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis show minimal genetic association between polyp and non-polyp phenotypes. BMC Ear Nose And Throat Disorders, 18. 16.

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Background: Staphylococcus aureus has a high prevalence in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) patients and is suggested to play a more etiopathogenic role in CRS patients with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), a severe form of the CRS spectrum with poorer surgical outcomes. We performed a microbial genome-wide association study (mGWAS) to investigate whether S. aureus isolates from CRS patients have particular genetic markers associated with CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) or CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP).

Methods: Whole genome sequencing was performed on S. aureus isolates collected from 28 CRSsNP and 30 CRSwNP patients. A mGWAS approach was employed using large-scale comparative genomics to identify genetic variation within our dataset.

Results: Considerable genetic variation was observed, with >90,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) sites identified. There was little correlation with CRS subtype based on SNPs and Insertion/Delection (Indels). One indel was found to significantly correlate with CRSwNP and occurred in the promoter region of a bacitracin transport system ATP-binding protein. Additionally, two variants of the highly variable superantigen-like (SSL) proteins were found to significantly correlate with each CRS phenotype. No significant association with other virulence or antibiotic resistance genes were observed, consistent with previous studies.

Conclusion: To our knowledge this study is the first to use mGWAS to investigate the contribution of microbial genetic variation to CRS presentations. Utilising the most comprehensive genome-wide analysis methods available, our results suggest that CRS phenotype may be influenced by genetic factors other than specific virulence mechanisms within the S. aureus genome.

Item ID: 56062
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6815
Keywords: Chronic rhinosinusitis, Staphylococcus aureus, Genome-wide association study, Microbial genomics, Whole genome sequencing
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Funders: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2018 08:39
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3203 Dentistry > 320301 Craniofacial biology @ 100%
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