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Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2010 Feb;66(2):217-21. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Occurrence and genotyping using automated repetitive-sequence-based PCR of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398 in Southeast Austria.

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Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Austria.


In this retrospective study, the occurrence and genetic relatedness of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ST398 in Austrian MRSA patients was investigated. From 2002 to 2008, 14 MRSA ST398 were detected. First occurrence of MRSA ST398 was already found in 2004. Spa ribotyping assigned 12 isolates to spa type t011 and 1 each to spa type t034 and spa type t1451. Isolated MRSA ST398 was nontypeable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (NT-MRSA) using restriction enzyme SmaI; therefore, genotyping was performed using automated repetitive-sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) on the DiversiLab system. Rep-PCR results assigned 10 (71%) of the 14 MRSA ST398 into 1 cluster with a similarity >95%; there was 1 cluster consisting of 2 isolates with a similarity >99% and 2 unique MRSA ST398 isolates. In conclusion, MRSA ST398 was continuously detected in Southeast Austria; first in 2004 with up to 5 MRSA ST398 isolates in 2008. Automated rep-PCR proved as a reliable technique in determining genetic relatedness of NT-MRSA ST398 and demonstrates clonal spread of MRSA ST398 in the investigated region.

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