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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2000 Oct;46(4):617-20.

In vivo deletion of the methicillin resistance mec region from the chromosome of Staphylococcus aureus strains.

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Department of Microbiology, Erasme Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, route de Lennik 808, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium.


Two sets of Staphylococcus aureus isolates recovered from two patients exhibited similar susceptibility profiles except for oxacillin susceptibility (MSSA) or resistance (MRSA). SMA:I macrorestriction and inter-IS256 PCR analysis showed patterns closely related to the Belgian epidemic MRSA clone 1 in each pair of MSSA/MRSA strains. Loss of one large SMA:I DNA fragment and concurrent gain of a smaller fragment in the MSSA isolates was observed. The mecA sequence present in the MRSA was absent in the MSSA variant. Therefore, in vivo deletion of the mec region may occur in some lineages of S. aureus more frequently than previously thought.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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