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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011 May;17(5):785-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2010.03373.x. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

The dominant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clone from hospitals in Cape Town has an unusual genotype: ST612.

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Division of Medical Microbiology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


There is currently limited information available on the molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in South Africa. A molecular characterization of 100 MRSA from five hospitals in Cape Town was carried out in this study. The strains were separated into six clusters by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, indicating transmission of MRSA between local hospitals. None of the strains carried the Panton-Valentine Leukocidin gene. SCCmec typing, multilocus sequence typing and spa typing were used to further characterize the MRSA. Three clones corresponded to frequently described pandemic clones: ST239-MRSA-III, ST36-MRSA-II and ST5-MRSA-I. ST239-MRSA-III and ST36-MRSA-II were minor clones and collectively accounted for 16% of the isolates. ST5-MRSA-I was the second-most prevalent clone and accounted for 37% of the isolates. The dominant local clone was the infrequently described ST612-MRSA-IV (44% of isolates), which has only been described in South Africa and Australia.

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