Although infection with the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone USA300 is extremely rare in Japan, the uniquely evolved clone ΨUSA300 has been reported in Japan. An outbreak of a distinct USA300 clone was recently reported in an HIV/AIDS referral hospital in Tokyo. The present study investigated the evolutionary origin and genetic diversity of USA300-related clones causing regional outbreaks among people living with HIV (PLWHIV) in Tokyo. MRSA isolates collected from PLWHIV in an HIV/AIDS referral center in Tokyo were subjected to whole-genome sequencing and their genetic features were compared with those of previously described USA300 MRSA genomes. Of the 28 MRSAs isolated in 2016–2019, 23 (82.1%) were identified as USA300, with 22 (95.6%) of the latter identified as ΨUSA300. Although the genomic structure of ΨUSA300 was identical to the structures of reference USA300 strains, one clade (cluster A) was found to have acquired 29 previously identified lineage-specific mutations in a stepwise manner. The estimated divergence dates of ΨUSA300 and Cluster A were 2009 and 2012, respectively. These findings suggested that the ΨUSA300 clone had spread among PLWHIVs in Tokyo in the early 2010s, with stepwise acquisition of lineage-specific nonsynonymous mutations.
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