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Med Sci (Paris). 2010 Nov;26(11):943-9. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20102611943.

[Staphylococcus aureus resistance to antibiotics: key points in 2010].

[Article in French]

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Centre national de référence des staphylocoques, INSERM U851, IFR128, Université Lyon 1, rue Guillaume Paradin, Lyon Cedex 08, France.


Staphylococcus aureus has a strong adaptive capacity and thus acquired various types of resistance to antistaphylococcal agents. More than 90% of isolates produce a penicillinase. Oxacillin remains active against these strains, but hospital associated staphylococci and more recently community acquired staphylococci have developed crossed resistance between methicillin (MRSA), oxacillin and other beta-lactams by production of a penicillin binding protein (PBP) with low affinity for beta-lactams, PBP2a. The gene encoding PBP2a, mecA is carried by a chromosomal element which also contains other resistance genes to heavy metals and other antibiotics thus explaining the multiresistant profile of hospital associated MRSA. By contrast, community acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) are only resistant to kanamycin, fusidic acid and tetracycline, in addition to methicillin. This profile is specific of the European CA-MRSA ST80 clone which also encodes for a very particular virulence factor, the Panton-Valentine leukocidin. Glycopeptides, vancomycin and teicoplanin, are alternatives to oxacillin in case of resistance or intolerance. Strains with decreased susceptibility to glycopeptides have been reported. Their detection is difficult but necessary because vancomycin MIC creep seems linked to poor outcome in patients.

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