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Pathology. 2008 Jan;40(1):64-71.

Clinical features, epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance, and exotoxin genes (including that of Panton-Valentine leukocidin) of gentamicin-susceptible methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (GS-MRSA) isolated at a paediatric teaching hospital in New South Wales, Australia.

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  • 1The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, Australia.



To describe the epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory features of gentamicin-susceptible methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (GS-MRSA) seen at a paediatric teaching hospital.


Patients from whom GS-MRSA was isolated between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2002 were enrolled. Retrospective chart review was performed. Susceptibility testing was performed with the Vitek2 system; PCR confirmed methicillin resistance. Phage typing and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was performed (utilising MLST/SCCmec-defined control strains). PCR detection of tst, luk-PV, and entA-entE was performed.


Eighty-five per cent of all Staphylococcus aureus isolates during the study period were methicillin-sensitive, and 15% were MRSA (9% GS-MRSA, 6% gentamicin resistant-MRSA). 100 GS-MRSA infections in 98 children were identified: 59 cases of skin/soft tissue, four bone and joint, four surgical site infections, three pneumonia, eight other types, and 22 represented colonisation. Ninety-nine isolates were non-multidrug resistant, but 17 strains were resistant to erythromycin, 7 to tetracyclines, 12 to ciprofloxacin, 11 to fusidic acid, 1 each to rifampicin and mupirocin. 44 isolates were Oceania strain (ST30-MRSA-IV), 20 were Queensland strain (ST93-MRSA-IV), ten were UK EMRSA-15 (ST22-MRSA-IV), eight were WA MRSA-1 (ST1-MRSA-IV), two were WA MRSA-5 (ST8-MRSA-IV), one was WA MRSA-2 (ST78slv-MRSA-IV), one was WA MRSA-15 (ST59-MRSA-IV), and the remainder were sporadics. Twenty patients were Pacific Islanders, of whom 12 had the Oceania strain; ten were Aboriginal, of whom eight had the Queensland strain. Sixty-eight isolates possessed luk-PV, including all Queensland strains and 91% of Oceania strains. Enterotoxin genes were detected in 25% of the isolates, and tst was detected in four isolates.


GS-MRSA is a significant paediatric problem in New South Wales: two minority groups are over-represented, multiple epidemic strains were detected, most community strains possess luk-PV, and many isolates are multidrug resistant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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