Characteristics of methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureusin patients on admission to a teaching hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are associated with greater mortality and morbidity; however, risk factors for community-acquired infections caused by MRSA have not been established. Therefore, community patients who are admitted to hospitals without the necessary contact precautions and are infected with community-acquired lineages eventually cause these lineages to spread to these settings. The aim of this study was to detect community-acquired lineages of MRSA in patients on admission to a Brazilian teaching hospital.


The antimicrobial susceptibility of the MRSA isolates from nasal swabs was evaluated as was the molecular characteristics of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). The clonality was determined using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence type analysis.


A total of 702 patients were evaluated between March 2012 and March 2013; 180 (25%) of them were colonized by S aureus, and 21 (3%) were MRSA. The SCCmec IV/USA1100/sequence type (ST) 30 was the predominant MRSA lineage (42.8%), followed by SCCmec IV/USA800/ST5 (23.8%).


The occurrence of MRSA colonization was very low, and only 1 patient from cardiac surgery developed an infection, which was caused by an SCCmec II/USA100/ST5 isolate. Screening for MRSA colonization on admission does not seem to be productive; however, for populations submitted to specific surgeries, active surveillance should be implemented.

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