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J Infect Chemother. 2009 Apr;15(2):84-91. doi: 10.1007/s10156-009-0668-x. Epub 2009 Apr 25.

Genotypes, intrafamilial transmission, and virulence potential of nasal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from children in the community.

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  • 1Division of Bacteriology, Department of Infectious Disease Control and International Medicine, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 757 Ichibanchou, Asahimachidori, Niigata, 951-8510, Japan.


Pediatric outpatients and healthy children in the community were examined for nasal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Japan. MRSA isolation frequencies were 0.7% (3/426) and 3.7% (5/136), respectively, in pediatric outpatients and healthy children in the community (overall frequency, 1.4%). The frequency of MRSA isolation was higher in children 5-9 years of age compared with the other age groups. All eight MRSA strains isolated were Panton-Valentine leukocidin-negative. Of these, three with the genotype multilocus sequence type (ST) 8/spa606/SCCmecIV (2 cases) and ST88/spa999/SCCmecIV/exfoliative toxin A gene (eta) were identical or similar to MRSA from bullous impetigo, determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. One strain with ST764 (ST5 variant)/spa2/SCCmecII/staphylococcal enterotoxin B gene seb2 (seb variant) was similar to MRSA from bacteremia, and one with ST5/spa2/SCCmecII was the Pandemic New York/Japan clone. The remaining three strains, with ST22/spa998/SCCmecI, ST380/spa799/SCCmecIV, and ST857/spa416/SCCmecII, have not been identified. All MRSA strains were resistant to one or more non-beta-lactam antibiotics, and the ST5 and ST764 strains were multidrug-resistant. Family analysis demonstrated parent-to-child transmission (for ST8 and ST764), as well as acquisition from outside the family (for ST8 and ST380). The data suggest that young school-age children have a higher carriage rate of nasal MRSA than children of other ages, and that not only community-acquired MRSA strains but also MRSA strains with characteristics of hospital-acquired MRSA are spreading in the community.

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