Genome-Wide Association Study of Staphylococcus aureus Carriage in a Community-Based Sample of Mexican-Americans in Starr County, Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Staphylococcus aureus is the number one cause of hospital-acquired infections. Understanding host pathogen interactions is paramount to the development of more effective treatment and prevention strategies. Therefore, whole exome sequence and chip-based genotype data were used to conduct rare variant and genome-wide association analyses in a Mexican-American cohort from Starr County, Texas to identify genes and variants associated with S. aureus nasal carriage. Unlike most studies of S. aureus that are based on hospitalized populations, this study used a representative community sample. Two nasal swabs were collected from participants (n = 858) 11-17 days apart between October 2009 and December 2013, screened for the presence of S. aureus, and then classified as either persistent, intermittent, or non-carriers. The chip-based and exome sequence-based single variant association analyses identified 1 genome-wide significant region (KAT2B) for intermittent and 11 regions suggestively associated with persistent or intermittent S. aureus carriage. We also report top findings from gene-based burden analyses of rare functional variation. Notably, we observed marked differences between signals associated with persistent and intermittent carriage. In single variant analyses of persistent carriage, 7 of 9 genes in suggestively associated regions and all 5 top gene-based findings are associated with cell growth or tight junction integrity or are structural constituents of the cytoskeleton, suggesting that variation in genes associated with persistent carriage impact cellular integrity and morphology.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

altmetric score

  • 4.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Brown, E. L., Below, J. E., Fischer, R., Essigmann, H. T., Hu, H., Huff, C., ... Hanis, C. L.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Brown, Eric L||Below, Jennifer E||Fischer, Rebecca SB||Essigmann, Heather T||Hu, Hao||Huff, Chad||Robinson, D Ashley||Petty, Lauren E||Aguilar, David||Bell, Graeme I||Hanis, Craig L

editor list (cited editors)

  • Schlievert, P. M.

publication date

  • January 2015