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BMC Infect Dis. 2013 May 25;13:242. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-242.

Analysis of S. Epidermidis icaA and icaD genes by polymerase chain reaction and slime production: a case control study.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine, Affiliated Provincial Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.



Staphylococcus epidermidis is a common pathogen in medical device-associated infections and have an ability to form adherent slime. We aimed to study the effects of icaA and icaD genes on the slime formation of Staphylococcus epidermidis associated with catheter-associated infections.


S. epidermidis isolates from the central venous catheter blood of patients with catheter-associated infections, and from the nasal vestibules of healthy volunteers, intensive care unit hospital staff, and patients, were collected. Slime phenotype was determined by Congo red agar test. The icaA/D was detected by polymerase chain reaction. Slime was examined using scanning electron microscopy.


A total of 82 S. epidermidis isolates were collected. We found a statistically significant difference with regards to slime production between the clinical isolates from the catheter blood specimens and those from the nasal vestibules (p<0.05). All S. epidermidis slime positive strains isolated were icaA positive. There was a greater correlation between the presence of both icaA and icaD and the slime production than the single expression of icaA or icaD and the presence of slime in all groups. The co-expression of mecA and icaD was associated with enhanced resistance to antibiotics.


S. epidermidis bacteria are significant nosocomial pathogens, and icaA/D can clarify the adhesion mechanism in the pathogenesis of infections associated with medical devices. This study result could be useful for the development of rapid diagnosis for slime producing and methicillin resistant S. epidermidis strains.

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