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J Med Microbiol. 2007 Mar;56(Pt 3):365-75.

Subtyping of ST22-MRSA-IV (Barnim epidemic MRSA strain) at a university clinic in Germany from 2002 to 2005.

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Otto-von-Guericke-University, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Magdeburg, Germany.


Emergence of the meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Barnim epidemic strain (ST22-MRSA-IV) was demonstrated recently at University Hospital in Magdeburg, Germany. To aid the study of transmission events, it is important to have an epidemiological typing method with the ability to distinguish among MRSA isolates. The aim of this study was to determine the ability of phenotypic and genotypic methods to type ST22-MRSA-IV strains within a hospital for microevolution events. Forty-two ST22-MRSA-IV strains collected from 2002 to 2005 were analysed using antimicrobial testing, toxin gene analysis, PFGE, spa typing, fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (fAFLP) and determination of staphylococcal interspersed repeat units (SIRUs). Four different antimicrobial patterns were observed. The majority of the isolates (n=31) were resistant towards erythromycin, ciprofloxacin and clindamycin, in addition to penicillin and oxacillin. All strains harboured the sec gene and showed a homogeneous profile of toxin genes. One isolate was typed as spa t022, two as spa t474 and the remainder belonged to spa type t032. PFGE yielded eight profiles and SIRU typing resulted in six different patterns. The fAFLP technique subdivided the individual PFGE profiles, but the grouping of isolates differed from that obtained by PFGE or SIRU typing. These results showed a diversity of ST22-MRSA-IV strains within a narrow clinical setting, indicating microevolution of the Barnim MRSA clone. The ability to distinguish among MRSA strains within an endemic setting will lead to a greater understanding of the transmission of MRSA and is necessary to be able to control the spread of various clones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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