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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1992 Nov;11(11):935-40.

Relatedness of strains of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus colonizing hospital personnel and producing bacteremias in a neonatal intensive care unit.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425.


The emergence of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus as a major bacterial pathogen in neonatal intensive care units has stimulated interest in the epidemiology of spread of the organism. During a 12-month "epidemic" of bacteremias with methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus we compared the characteristics of bacteremic and personnel nasally-carried strains by traditional and biomolecular methods. Sixty-two percent of neonatal intensive care unit nurses were colonized with methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus with similar speciation to bacteremic strains. Inspection of plasmid profiles revealed a moderate degree of similarity between bacteremic and colonizing strains although genomic DNA restriction patterns showed diversity. Ribotype patterns were highly conserved (90%) in personnel strains. A 2.6-kilobase plasmid DNA probe hybridized to similarly sized plasmids and larger plasmids in one-half of the strains. We hypothesize that related methicillin-resistant strains may be transferred among personnel and neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit. Epidemiologic studies of coagulase-negative staphylococci should consider multiple molecular techniques to relate strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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