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J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Nov;41(11):5113-20.

Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing of oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from the United States: establishing a national database.

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Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


Oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ORSA) is a virulent pathogen responsible for both health care-associated and community onset disease. We used SmaI-digested genomic DNA separated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to characterize 957 S. aureus isolates and establish a database of PFGE patterns. In addition to PFGE patterns of U.S. strains, the database contains patterns of representative epidemic-type strains from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia; previously described ORSA clonal-type isolates; 13 vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (VISA) isolates, and two high-level vancomycin-resistant, vanA-positive strains (VRSA). Among the isolates from the United States, we identified eight lineages, designated as pulsed-field types (PFTs) USA100 through USA800, seven of which included both ORSA and oxacillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates. With the exception of the PFT pairs USA100 and USA800, and USA300 and USA500, each of the PFTs had a unique multilocus sequence type and spa type motif. The USA100 PFT, previously designated as the New York/Tokyo clone, was the most common PFT in the database, representing 44% of the ORSA isolates. USA100 isolates were typically multiresistant and included all but one of the U.S. VISA strains and both VRSA isolates. Multiresistant ORSA isolates from the USA200, -500, and -600 PFTs have PFGE patterns similar to those of previously described epidemic strains from Europe and Australia. The USA300 and -400 PFTs contained community isolates resistant only to beta-lactam drugs and erythromycin. Noticeably absent from the U.S. database were isolates with the previously described Brazilian and EMRSA15 PFGE patterns. These data suggest that there are a limited number of ORSA genotypes present in the United States.

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