Phylogenetic Distribution of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Staphylococcus lugdunensis

Cheng Yen Kao, Jang Jih Lu, Lee Chung Lin, Hsiao Chi Lin, Shih Cheng Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes (CRISPR-Cas) are present in many bacterial genomes with functions beyond adaptive immunity. We aimed to characterize the CRISPR-Cas system in the pathogenic Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus lugdunensis and determine its association with sequence types (STs) determined by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and oxacillin susceptibility. Primers were designed to detect and sequence types IIIA and IIC CRISPR-Cas in 199 S. lugdunensis isolates. MLST and oxacillin susceptibility tests were also performed on the isolates. We found that 84 S. lugdunensis isolates had type IIIA CRISPR-Cas, while 46 had type IIC. The results showed a strong association between STs and CRISPR-Cas types. The ST1, ST6, ST12, and ST15 isolates had type IIIA CRISPR-Cas systems, and the ST4, ST27, and ST29 isolates had type IIC CRISPR-Cas. Interestingly, of 83 isolates containing type IIIA CRISPR-Cas, 17 (20.5%) were oxacillin-resistant S. lugdunensis (ORSL), and all of these ORSL isolates belonged to ST6 cluster 1. Moreover, spacers 23 and 21 were found in 16 and 17 ORSL isolates, respectively. In contrast, all 46 isolates with type IIC CRISPR-Cas were susceptible to oxacillin. Our results showed that 41.3% of CRISPR-Cas IIIA spacers were homologous to plasmids and 20.2% were homologous to phages. However, in type IIC CRISPR-Cas, 11.8% and 39.9% of spacers showed sequence homology with plasmids and phages, respectively. In conclusion, we found that the distribution and composition of the CRISPR-Cas system in S. lugdunensis was associated with STs and oxacillin susceptibility. IMPORTANCE CRISPR-Cas systems have been characterized as playing several biological roles in many bacterial genomes. Moreover, CRISPR-Cas systems are useful for epidemiological, diagnostic, and evolutionary studies of pathogenic bacteria. However, the characteristics of CRISPR-Cas systems in Staphylococcus lugdunensis have been rarely reported. In this study, we revealed that type IIIA CRISPR-Cas was dominant in S. lugdunensis isolates, followed by type IIC CRISPR-Cas. Moreover, the composition of CRISPR-Cas spacers was strongly associated with multilocus sequence typing and oxacillin susceptibility of S. lugdunensis. These results advance our understanding of the evolution of CRISPR-Cas systems; however, the biological functions of CRISPR-Cas systems in S. lugdunensis remain to be further characterized.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01247
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • CRISPR-Cas system
  • Multilocus sequence typing
  • Oxacillin susceptibility
  • Spacer sequences
  • Staphylococcus lugdunensis


Dive into the research topics of 'Phylogenetic Distribution of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Staphylococcus lugdunensis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this