Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Aug 23;8(8):e73434. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073434. eCollection 2013.

Molecular typing and virulence characteristic of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from pediatric patients in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

Author information

Grupo de Inmunología y Epidemiología Molecular, GIEM, Facultad de Salud, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.



Staphylococcus aureus is among the most common global nosocomial pathogens. The emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a public health problem worldwide that causes nosocomial and community infections. The goals of this study were to establish the clonal complexes (CC) of the isolates of MRSA obtained from pediatric patients in a university hospital in Colombia and to investigate its molecular characteristics based on the virulence genes and the genes of staphylococcal toxins and adhesins.


A total of 53 MRSA isolates from pediatric patients with local or systemic infections were collected. The MRSA isolates were typed based on the SCCmec, MLST, spa and agr genes. The molecular characterization included the detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin, superantigenic and exfoliative toxins, and adhesin genes. The correlation between the molecular types identified and the profile of virulence factors was determined for all isolates.


Four CC were identified, including CC8, CC5, CC80 and CC78. The ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI was the predominant clone among the isolates, followed by the ST5-MRSA-I-agrII and ST5-MRSA-IVc-agrII clones. Twelve spa types were identified, of which t10796 and t10799 were new repeat sequences. The isolates were carriers of toxin genes, and hlg (100%), sek (92%) and pvl (88%) were the most frequent. Ten toxin gene profiles were observed, and the most frequent were seq-sek-hlg (22.6%), sek-hlg (22.6%), seb-seq-sek-hlg (18.9%) and seb-sek-hlg (15.1%). The adhesion genes were present in most of the MRSA isolates, including the following: clf-A (89%), clf-B (87%), fnb-A (83%) and ica (83%). The majority of the strains carried SCCmec-IVc and were identified as causing nosocomial infection. No significant association between a molecular type and the virulence factors was found.


Four major MRSA clone complexes were identified among the isolates. ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI pvl+ (USA300-LV) was the most frequent, confirming the presence of community-associated MRSA in Colombian hospitals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center