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Anal Chem. 2012 Jul 3;84(13):5685-92. doi: 10.1021/ac300855z. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Peptide biomarker discovery for identification of methicillin-resistant and vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus strains by MALDI-TOF.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taoyuan 33305, Taiwan.


Rapid identification of community-associated (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hospital-associated (HA) MRSA, and vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA) is essential for proper therapy and timely intervention of outbreaks. In this study, peptide biomarkers for rapid identification of methicillin-resistant and vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus strains were discovered by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The results showed that the 1774.1 and 1792.1 m/z peaks corresponding to the phenol-soluble modulin α1 and phenol-soluble modulin α2 peptides, respectively, were present in the majority (95%, 121 of 127) of SCCmec types IV and V isolates, but only in 8% (15 of 185) of SCCmec types I-III isolates. Since SCCmec types I-III isolates are recognized as HA-MRSA and most CA-MRSA isolates belong to SCCmec types IV and V, these two peptides may serve as markers for discrimination between HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA isolates. The 1835.0 and 1863.0 m/z peaks were present in 50% (4 of 8) of heterogeneous VISA and 88% (14 of 16) of VISA isolates. The peptides of these two peaks were identified as proteolytic products of the acyl carrier protein. The results of this study provide the possibility to develop methods for identification of CA-MRSA, HA-MRSA, and vancomycin-resistant S. aureus isolates based on the presence of these peptides.

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