Rapid detection, differentiation and typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus harbouring either mecA or the new mecA homologue mecALGA251

M. Stegger, P. S. Andersen, Angela Kearns, Bruno Pichon, M. A. Holmes, G. Edwards, F. Laurent, C. Teale, R. Skov, A. R. Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent finding of a new mecA homologue, mecALGA251, with only 70% nucleotide homology to the conventional mecA gene has brought the routine testing for mecA as a confirmatory test for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) into question. A multiplex PCR was designed to differentiate mecALGA251 from the known mecA together with detection of lukF-PV and the spa gene fragments, enabling direct spa typing by sequencing of the PCR amplicons. The PCR analysis and subsequent spa typing were validated on a large collection (n=185) of contemporary MRSA and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus isolates, including 127 isolates carrying mecALGA251. The mecALGA251 gene was situated in staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type XI elements, and sequence variation within a 631-bp fragment of mecALGA251 in 79 isolates indicated a very conserved gene sequence. Following a successful validation, the multiplex PCR strategy was implemented in the routine testing of MRSA for national surveillance. Over a 2-month period, among 203 samples tested, 12 new MRSA cases caused by isolates carrying mecALGA251 were identified, emphasizing the clinical importance of testing for these new MRSA isolates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • MecA
  • MecC
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Panton-Valentine leukocidin
  • SCCmec
  • Staphylococcus aureus

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