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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005 Nov;49(11):4521-9.

Use of ribotyping to retrospectively identify methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from phase 3 clinical trials for tigecycline that are genotypically related to community-associated isolates.

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Wyeth Research, Room 3301, Bldg. 200, 401 N. Middletown Rd., Pearl River, New York 10965, USA.


A retrospective study was performed to identify methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates obtained from patients enrolled in phase 3 clinical trials for tigecycline that were genotypically similar to known community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) strains. The clinical trials were double-blind comparator studies for complicated skin and skin structure infections or complicated intra-abdominal infections. We obtained 85% of the MRSA isolates from patients with complicated skin and skin structure infections. Using ribotyping, MRSA isolates were compared with well-characterized North American CA-MRSA strains and negative-control hospital-associated (HA) MRSA strains by cluster analysis; 91 of the 173 isolates clustered with two groups of known CA-MRSA strains, 60% of which shared an indistinguishable ribotype. These isolates were subsequently tested for the presence of SCCmec type IV and the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-encoding genes as well as susceptibility to clindamycin, characteristics that are typically associated with CA-MRSA; 89 of the 91 isolates carried the type IV SCCmec element and 76 were also positive for the PVL-encoding genes; 73 of these isolates were susceptible to clindamycin. A similar analysis performed on 26 nonclustering isolates identified only four with these characteristics; 89 of the 91 clustering isolates were inhibited by tigecycline at MICs of < or = 0.5 microg/ml. On the basis of clustering information and preliminary genetic characterization, it appears that ribotyping is a useful tool in identifying potential CA-MRSA isolates and 76 MRSA isolates from patients enrolled in the tigecycline phase 3 trials have genetic markers typically associated with CA-MRSA.

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