Objectives: Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen associated with diseases in a variety of hosts including humans. It produces several toxins and virulence factors that contribute to its pathogenic potential such as staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs). This study was conducted to determine enterotoxigenicity of S. aureus associated with chronic urogenital tract infection by detecting enterotoxin genes.
Setting: This study was done in The Microbiology laboratory, An-Najah N. University, Palestine.
Methodology: A total of 90 S. aureus isolates recovered from clinical samples from patients suffering from chronic urogenital tract infection in the North of Palestine were used to detect the presence of staphylococcal enterotoxin genes sea, seb, sec, sed and see by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Results: Out of 90 S. aureus isolates tested, it was found that 57 (63.3%) of these isolates harboured one or more enterotoxin genes. Up to 78.9% of the enterotoxigenic isolates possessed one SE gene. The majority of these enterotoxigenic strains (61.4%) isolated from both semen and urine samples harbored sec gene either alone or in combination with other genes. Also the prevalence of genes in combination was significantly more common in S. aureus isolates derived from urine 9/33 (27.3%), as compared to those derived from semen 3/24 (12.5%).
Conclusions: The role of enterotoxin genes in the pathogenesis of urogenital tract infection is still unknown. However, it is evident that urogenital infection can be caused by S. aureus strains which lack these genes. Other newly detected genes may play a role in pathogenesis.