spa typing directly from a mecA, spa and pvl multiplex PCR assay—a cost-effective improvement for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus surveillance

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Rapid detection and typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are important components of infection control programmes. A protocol is described that enables sequencing of the spa gene fragment directly from a multiplex PCR targeting the clinically relevant mecA, pvl and spa genes, resulting in high-throughput characterisation of S. aureus. Implementation of the method in the Danish national reference laboratory has markedly reduced the use of reagents and the requirement for hands-on time, and has also provided fast typing results. In addition, the method reduces the risk of sample mishandling.

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