Microbiological evaluation of a new growth-based approach for rapid detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

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ObjectivesRecently, a rapid screening tool for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been introduced that applies a novel detection technology allowing the rapid presence or absence of MRSA to be determined from an enrichment broth after only a few hours of incubation. To evaluate the reliability of this new assay to successfully detect MRSA strains of different origin and clonality, well-characterized S. aureus strains were tested in this study.MethodsMore than 700 methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains covering >90% of all registered European MRSA spa types within the SeqNet network were studied.ResultsAll 513 MRSA strains tested were recognized as methicillin-resistant: among these, 96 MRSA strains were from an institutional collection, each presenting a unique spa type. None of the 211 methicillin-susceptible strains were detected as positive.ConclusionsThe new growth-based rapid MRSA assay was shown to detect without exception all MRSA strains of large collections of strains comprising highly diverse genetic backgrounds, indicating that such a phenotypic test might be potentially more likely to cope with new strains.

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