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J Infect Dis. 2010 Jul 15;202(2):270-81. doi: 10.1086/653483.

Methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci in the community: high homology of SCCmec IVa between Staphylococcus epidermidis and major clones of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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Bacteriology Unit and National Reference Center for Emergence of Resistance in Commensal Flora, 2EA 3964, Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital, Assistance Publique-HĂ´pitaux de Paris and Xavier Bichat Medical School, Denis Diderot-Paris 7 University, Paris, France.



Data on community spread of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MR-CoNS) are scarce. We assessed their potential role as a reservoir of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) IVa, the leading SCCmec subtype in community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA).


Nasal carriage of MR-CoNS was prospectively investigated in 291 adults at hospital admission. MR-CoNS were characterized by SCCmec typing, long-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for SCCmec IV, and multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) for Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE) strains. Three SCCmec IVa elements were fully sequenced.


The carriage rate of MR-CoNS was 19.2% (25.9% and 16.5% in patients with and patients without previous exposure to the health care system, respectively; P = .09). MR-CoNS strains (n = 83, including 58 MRSE strains with highly heterogeneous MLVA patterns) carried SCCmec type IVa (n = 9, all MRSE), other SCCmec IV subtypes (n = 9, including 7 MRSE), other SCCmec types (n = 15), and nontypeable SCCmec (n = 50). Long-range PCR indicated structural homology between SCCmec IV in MRSE and that in MRSA. Complete sequences of SCCmec IVa from 3 MRSE strains were highly homologous to those available for CA-MRSA, including major clones USA300 and USA400.


MR-CoNS are probably disseminated in the community, notably in subjects without previous exposure to the health care system. MRSE, the most prevalent species, may act as a reservoir of SCCmec IVa for CA-MRSA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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