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J Lab Physicians. 2012 Jul;4(2):83-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.105587.

Detection of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus by polymerase chain reaction and conventional methods: a comparative study.

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1
Department of Biochemistry, A.V. Medical College, Pondicherry, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major nosocomial pathogen worldwide, which has emerged over the past 30 years as a leading cause of both nosocomial and community-acquired infections. Accurate and rapid identification of MRSA in clinical specimens is essential for timely decision on effective antimicrobial chemotherapy.

AIM:

The present study was conducted to compare two conventional phenotypic methods, oxacillin disk diffusion (ODD) method and mannitol salt agar (MSA) with oxacillin, with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for mecA gene (as standard).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A total of 165 consecutive clinical isolates of S. aureus received at the Department of Microbiology in our tertiary care teaching hospital were included in the study. All the isolates were subjected to ODD (1 μg) method, culture in MSA with oxacillin, and PCR for mecA gene.

RESULTS:

The sensitivity and specificity of ODD test were found to be 93.5% (86.4-97.3%) and 83.5% (79.2-85.8%), respectively, and that of MSA with oxacillin were found to be 87.1% (79.5-92.3%) and 89.3% (84.8-92.5%), respectively. The time taken for diagnosing MRSA by conventional methods is 48-72 h, which is more as compared to PCR which takes 18-24 h.

CONCLUSION:

This study recommends advocating PCR for mecA gene on a regular basis for detecting methicillin resistance in S. aureus isolates isolated from sterile body fluids or from special units such as intensive care units.

KEYWORDS:

MecA gene; Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin resistance; polymerase chain reaction

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