Detection of elements of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) in a methicillin-susceptible (mecA gene negative) homologue of a fucidin-resistant MRSA

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Abstract

Objectives

To determine the DNA relatedness of an outbreak of community-acquired fucidin-resistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolated from intravenous drug users (IVDUs).

Materials and methods

Relatedness was determined by PFGE analysis of macro-restricted chromosome, together with a variety of PCR methods, to determine polymorphisms in the accessory gene regulator (agr) locus, the structure of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCCmec) and the presence or absence of the gene encoding Panton–Valentine leucocidin (PVL).

Results

Clonality of the MRSA and MSSA was established by PFGE, a finding further supported by agr analysis. By PCR, the MRSA contained the typical genetic organization of SCCmec type-1. However, the MSSA, though mecA-negative, contained certain fragments of the SCC. Genes encoding PVL were not detected.

Conclusions

This outbreak involved a community-acquired fucidin-resistant MRSA and its methicillin-susceptible homologue. The MSSA did not contain the mecA gene but did contain elements of the mobile type-I SCC. The MSSA were associated with a change in PFGE pattern with a deletion in fragment size of ∼215–195 kb.

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