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Curr Microbiol. 2009 Oct;59(4):380-5. doi: 10.1007/s00284-009-9448-1. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Typing of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec encoding methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated at the bone marrow transplant centre of Tunisia.

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  • 1Centre National de Greffe de Moelle Osseuse, Laboratory Service, Tunis, Tunisia.


Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec) is a mobile genetic element that carries the gene mecA mediating the methicillin resistance in staphylococci. It is composed of mec and ccr gene complexes. Six SCCmec types have been defined so far. SCCmec typing of 13 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) out of 72 (18%) non redundant S. aureus strains recovered in 1998-2007 at the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre of Tunis was carried out. The isolates were identified by conventional methods. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by oxacillin and cefoxitin disks and oxacillin MIC by E-test. Methicillin resistance was detected by mecA PCR. The SCCmec complex types were determined by PCR. The epidemiology of MRSA has been investigated by PFGE. Among 13 mecA positive strains, 12 were resistant to oxacillin (MIC = 3 to >256 microg/microl) and to cefoxitin and one strain was pre-resistant: susceptible to oxacillin (MIC = 0.19 microg/microl) and to cefoxitin. Hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains had essentially SCCmec type IV (nine strains) or III (two strains) or I (one strain). One strain shown to carry ccrAB1 and ccrAB2 genes in combination with class B mec. Seven of 13 MRSA strains isolated from 2000 to 2006 were classified with major similarity group A harbored SCCmec type IV.

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