Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Dec;41(12):5442-8.

Typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a university hospital setting by using novel software for spa repeat determination and database management.

Author information

Institute for Hygiene, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


The spa gene of Staphylococcus aureus encodes protein A and is used for typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We used sequence typing of the spa gene repeat region to study the epidemiology of MRSA at a German university hospital. One hundred seven and 84 strains were studied during two periods of 10 and 4 months, respectively. Repeats and spa types were determined by Ridom StaphType, a novel software tool allowing rapid repeat determination, data management and retrieval, and Internet-based assignment of new spa types following automatic quality control of DNA sequence chromatograms. Isolates representative of the most abundant spa types were subjected to multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. One of two predominant spa types was replaced by a clonally related variant in the second study period. Ten unique spa types, which were equally distributed in both study periods, were recovered. The data show a rapid dynamics of clone circulation in a university hospital setting. spa typing was valuable for tracking of epidemic isolates. The data show that disproval of epidemiologically suggested transmissions of MRSA is one of the main objectives of spa typing in departments with a high incidence of MRSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center