Molecular characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated over a 2-year period in a Qatari hospital from multinational patients

T. S. El-Mahdy, M. El-Ahmady, Richard V. Goering

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Global spread of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an issue of increasing clinical concern especially problematic community-associated (CA) -MRSA. However, data regarding MRSA epidemiology in regions of the Middle East, including Qatar, are still insufficient. A representative subset of 61 MRSA isolates from multinational patients from hospital in Qatar during a 2-year period (2009/2010) was examined. Molecular characterization for MRSA isolates was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), SCCmec, spa and dru typing, and PCR for the presence of the arginine catabolic mobile element and genes for the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). Prevalence of MRSA among S. aureus isolated was 176/840 (21%). Of the 61 MRSA isolates examined, three (5%) represented hospital-acquired infection. By PFGE, 32 isolates (52%) were CA-MRSA USA300 (n = 4), USA400 (n = 3), USA1100/Southwest (SW) Pacific (n = 17) and ST80-MRSA-IV (n = 8) strains. The remaining isolates were well-known healthcare-associated EMRSA-15 (n = 8) and USA800 (n = 13). Three isolates were USA900, one was USA1200 and four were unrelated to any known strains in the international database. Unexpectedly, the USA900 isolates were all positive for PVL and USA400 isolates were PVL negative. Five of the eight EMRSA-15 isolates were PVL positive. ST80-MRSA-IV and USA300 strains exhibited typical dru types (dt10a and dt9g, respectively). Eleven different spa types were observed in this study. All USA300 isolates were arginine catabolic mobile element positive. The high prevalence of CA-MRSA, especially including USA300, in this setting underscores the importance of global epidemiological monitoring to better understand and hopefully help prevent the emergence and spread of these problem pathogens in patient populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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