During the 1950s, the notorious penicillin-resistant clone of Staphylococcus aureus known as phage type 80/81 emerged and caused serious hospital-acquired and community-acquired infections worldwide. This clone was largely eliminated in the 1960s, concurrent with the widespread use of penicillinase-resistant beta lactams. We investigated whether early 80/81 isolates had the genes for Panton-Valentine leucocidin, a toxin associated with virulence in healthy young people. Multilocus sequence analysis suggested that descendants of 80/81 have acquired meticillin resistance, are re-emerging as a community-acquired meticillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) clone, and represent a sister lineage to pandemic hospital-acquired MRSA.
- panton-valentine leukocidin