Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is historically understood as a prevalent commensal and pathogen of dogs, though modern clinical diagnostics reveal an expanded host-range that includes humans. It remains unclear whether differentiation across S. pseudintermedius populations is driven primarily by niche-type or host-species. We sequenced 501 diagnostic and commensal isolates from a hospital, veterinary diagnostic laboratory, and within households in the American Midwest, and performed a comparative genomics investigation contrasting human diagnostic, animal diagnostic, human colonizing, pet colonizing, and household-surface S. pseudintermedius isolates. Though indistinguishable by core and accessory gene architecture, diagnostic isolates harbor more encoded and phenotypic resistance, whereas colonizing and surface isolates harbor similar CRISPR defense systems likely reflective of common household phage exposures. Furthermore, household isolates that persist through anti-staphylococcal decolonization report elevated rates of base-changing mutations in – and parallel evolution of – defense genes, as well as reductions in oxacillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole susceptibility. Together we report parallel niche-specific bolstering of S. pseudintermedius defense mechanisms through gene acquisition or mutation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7065
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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