JOURNAL ARTICLE

Characterisation of SCCmec elements in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from burn patients

Amirmorteza Ebrahimzadeh Namvar, Mastaneh Afshar, Babak Asghari, Abdolaziz Rastegar Lari
Burns 2014, 40 (4): 708-12
24211088
Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen, especially in burn units all around the world. Because of the emergence of the β-lactam antibiotic-resistant strains since 1961, concern about the prevalence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) has increased in these units. Resistance to methicillin is mediated by penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) that have enough affinity for binding to the β-lactam ring, but another kind of protein (PBP2α), which is encoded by the mecA gene, has a lower affinity for binding to these antibiotics. The mecA gene is transferred by SCCmec (staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec) as a mobile genetic element, exclusively found in the Staphylococcus genus. Identification of the frequency of the mecA gene, different SCCmec types and also its incidence may have benefit in surveillance prevention and control of MRSA strains in burn units. In this study, 40 S. aureus isolates were collected from patients hospitalised in Motahari burn center of Tehran, during 2012-2013. Conventional microbiological methods were applied and the confirmed isolates were stored at -20°C for molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The antibiotic resistance pattern was performed by disc diffusion method and finally the different SCCmec types were determined by specific primers. During this research, 40 isolates of S. aureus were collected from burn patients, of which (37.5%) of the specimens belonged to female patients and 62.5% to male patients. The aetiology of the burn was classified as follows: open flame (35%), liquid (32.5%), chemical (5%) and other (27.5%). By a disc diffusion method, no resistance pattern was observed to vancomycin and fosfomycin. Based on a multiplex PCR assay, the five different SCCmec types were detected as: 47.5% type III, 25% type IV, 10% type V, 10% type II and 7.5% type I.

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