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Epidemiol Infect. 1999 Apr;122(2):227-33.

Phages for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: an international trial.

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Campylobacter Reference Unit, Central Public Health Laboratory, London, UK.


An internationally agreed and validated set of phages is used worldwide for the typing of strains of Staphylococcus aureus of human origin. However, because of the sometimes reduced susceptibility of methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA) to these phages, some of the national typing centres use locally isolated and characterized sets of experimental phages. In this trial, 42 such phages were distributed to 6 centres and tested against 744 isolates of MRSA with the intention of defining a phage set to augment the international set. The use of these experimental phages increased the percentage typability from 75% with the international set to 93% and the number of identifiable lytic patterns from 192 to 424. A subset of 10 experimental phages was selected. When this subset was compared with the experimental panel, the typability rate was 91% and 370 distinct patterns were obtained. This subset of phages has been distributed for international trial.

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