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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2007 Jul;13(7):717-24. Epub 2007 Apr 2.

Clonal spread of SCCmec type IV methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus between community and hospital.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Medical Biotechnology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.


The staphylococcal chromosome cassette (SCC)mec types of 382 hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA) isolates in Taiwan were analysed over a 7-year period (1999-2005). There was an abrupt increase in SCCmec type IV in HA-MRSA during 2005. The molecular epidemiology of a subset (n = 69) of HA-MRSA isolates with SCCmec types III, IV or V was characterised and compared with that of community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) (n = 26, collected during 2005). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed three major pulsotypes (A, B and C) and 15 minor clones. Pulsotypes B and C, which contained isolates carrying SCCmec types IV and V, respectively, included both CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA isolates. Among 24 toxin genes analysed, five genes had significant differential distribution between CA-MRSA and SCCmec type III HA-MRSA. Furthermore, among SCCmec type IV isolates, the seb gene was detected more commonly in HA-MRSA. Analysis of representative members of the three major pulsotypes by multilocus sequence typing revealed two sequence types (STs), namely ST239 (SCCmecIII) and ST59 (SCCmecIV or SCCmecV). This suggests that ST59:SCCmecIV, which is usually community-acquired, has become an important nosocomial pathogen in the hospital studied.

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