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Braz J Infect Dis. 2003 Feb;7(1):32-43. Epub 2003 Dec 2.

Molecular techniques for MRSA typing: current issues and perspectives.

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Pharmaceutical Science School, São Paulo University, São Paulo, Brazil.


Staphylococcus aureus has long been recognised as an important pathogen in human disease. Serious staphylococcal infections can frequently occur in inpatients and may lead to dire consequences, especially for therapy with antimicrobial agents. The increase in the frequency of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as the causal agent of nosocomial infection and the possibility of emergence of resistance to vancomycin demands a quick and trustworthy characterization of isolates and identification of clonal spread within hospitals. Enough information must be generated to permit the implementation of appropriate measures for control of infection, so that outbreaks can be contained. Molecular typing techniques reviewed in this manuscript include: plasmid profile analysis, analysis of chromosomal DNA after enzymatic restriction, Southern blotting, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), techniques involving polymerase chain reaction and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Repetitive DNA Sequence PCR (rep-PCR) may be used for screening due to its practicality, low cost and reproducibility. Because of its high discriminatory power Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) still remains the gold standard for MRSA typing. New techniques with higher reproducibility and discriminatory power, such as Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST), are appearing. These are mostly useful for global epidemiology studies. Molecular typing techniques are invaluable tools for the assessment of putative MRSA outbreaks and so should be extensively used for this purpose.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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