Korean J Lab Med.  2007 Aug;27(4):286-291. 10.3343/kjlm.2007.27.4.286.

Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Positive Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Blood in Korea

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine1, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. euichong@snu.ac.kr


BACKGROUND: Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) is a pore-forming toxin secreted by some Staphylococcus aureus strains and associated with skin and soft tissue infections; these strains are epidemiologically associated with current outbreaks of community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and with necrotizing pneumonia in healthy adults in USA and Europe. This study was performed to investigate the presence of PVL-positive S. aureus and the significant infections known to be caused by this organism. METHODS: A total of 573 strains of S. aureus blood isolates at university-affiliated hospital during 2002 to 2005 were selected. The presence of PVL was investigated using PCR. Additional 12 staphylococcal toxin genes were also examined in PVL-positive S. aureus strains, and MRSA isolates were typed for the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). RESULTS: PVL genes were detected in 5 (0.9%) of 573 S. aureus strains, including 1 MRSA and 4 MSSA. The PVL-positive MRSA isolate was SCCmec type IV, and no other staphylococcal toxins were detected. The median age of the patients infected with PVL-positive S. aureus was 36 yr. Three cases of bacteremia were preceded by skin and soft-tissue infections. CONCLUSIONS: Bacteremia caused by PVL-positive S. aureus strain were detected in 5 patients in Korea, and some of the patients were associated with severe skin and soft-tissue infections. In addition, the PVL-positive MRSA strain of SCCmec type IV, a characteristic of community-acquired MRSA isolates in USA and Europe, also exists in Korea, and can cause the severe infections known to be associated with this organism.


Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Panton-Valentine leukocidin; Toxin; SCCmec; Soft tissue infection

MeSH Terms

Bacterial Proteins/genetics
Bacterial Toxins/*blood
Methicillin Resistance/drug effects
Middle Aged
Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods
Staphylococcal Infections/*microbiology
Staphylococcus aureus/genetics/*isolation & purification

Cited by  2 articles

A Case of Perianal Abscess due to Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Positive Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus : Report in Korea and Literature Review from the Far East
Chulmin Park, Dong-Gun Lee, Su-Mi Choi, Sun Hee Park, Jung-Hyun Choi, Jin-Hong Yoo, Ji An Hur, Wan-Shik Shin
Infect Chemother. 2008;40(2):121-126.    doi: 10.3947/ic.2008.40.2.121.

Microbiological Characteristics of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Jongyoun Yi, Eui-Chong Kim
Korean J Clin Microbiol. 2010;13(1):1-6.    doi: 10.5145/KJCM.2010.13.1.1.



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