MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF METHICILLIN - RESISTANT Staphylococcus aureus, ST398 (LA-MRSA), FROM HUMAN SAMPLES

Urška Dermota, Irena Grmek Košnik, Manica Müller-Premru, Urška Zajc, Majda Golob, Maja Rupnik

Abstract


Summary: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major human pathogen and an important cause of hospitalassociated (HA-MRSA) infections. MRSA infections significantly increase morbidity and mortality, affect the increased use of antibiotics and the cost of treatment. During the last decade MRSA has emerged as a significant pathogen also in the community (community-associated; CA-MRSA). In recent years, livestock has been proven to be a source of human infections with the MRSA sequence type (ST) 398 (livestock-associated; LA-MRSA). During the year 2010 all the regional microbiological laboratories took part in the task of monitoring CA-MRSA infections in Slovenia. We included all patients harbouring a MRSA strain that was susceptible to at least two of the following four antibiotics: ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, clindamycin or gentamicin. Altogether we collected 151 MRSA isolates of which 15 (9.9%) belonged to a spa type known to be associated with the clone ST398 respectively. Among them 12 isolates belonged to spa type t011, 2 isolates to t034 and 1 isolate to t108. We found the staphylococcal cassette chromosome - SCCmec type IV or V, and regulatory genes - agr type I. None of the isolates were positive for Panton - Valentine leukocidin (PVL), the toxic shock syndrome toxin (tst) and leukocidin LukM. All MRSA isolates were resistant to tetracycline and penicillin. Some of them were also resistant to erythromycin and clindamycin. Most of the LA-MRSA ST398 were isolated from screening specimens of patients from Murska Sobota and Maribor, which are the most important agricultural regions with intensive livestock breeding. Evidence of the presence of LA-MRSA in humans requires a close cooperation of human and veterinary microbiologists. Our goal is to find the epidemiological relation between human and animal hosts, to obtain information on the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics and monitor infections caused by LA - MRSA strains.

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SLOVENIAN VETERINARY RESEARCH, Veterinary Faculty
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