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Volume 48, Number 4, August 2015

Fine typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates using direct repeat unit and staphylococcal interspersed repeat unit typing methods 

Cheng-Mao Ho, Mao-Wang Ho, Chi-Yuan Li, Jang-Jih Lu

Received: August 6, 2013    Revised: August 21, 2013    Accepted: August 27, 2013   


Corresponding author:

Jang-Jih Lu
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Department of Medical Biotechnology and Laboratory Science, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Corresponding author. Department of Laboratory Medicine, Linkou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital, 5 Fu-Hsin Street, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) typing is an important epidemiologic tool for monitoring trends and preventing outbreaks. However, the efficiency of various MRSA typing methods for each SCCmec MRSA isolate is rarely evaluated.



A total of 157 MRSA isolates from four different regions in Taiwan were typed with five different molecular methods, including SCCmec typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, mec-associated direct repeat unit (dru) copy number determination, and staphylococcal interspersed repeat unit (SIRU) profiling.



There were four SCCmec types, eight MLST types, 15 spa types, 11 dru types, and 31 SIRU profiles. The most common type determined by each molecular typing method was SCCmec III (115 isolates, 73.2%), ST239 (99 isolates, 63.1%), t037 (107 isolates, 68.2%), 14 dru copies (76 isolates, 48.4%), and SIRU profile 3013722 (102 isolates, 65%), respectively. When using the combination of MLST, spa typing, and dru copy number, ST5-t002-4 (n = 8), ST239-t037-14 (n = 68), ST59-t437-9 (n = 9), and ST59-t437-11 (n = 6) were found to be the most common types of SCCmec types II (n = 9), III (n = 115), IV (n = 21), and VT (n = 11) isolates, respectively. SCCmec type III isolates were further classified into 11 dru types. Of the 21 SCCmec type IV isolates, 14 SIRU profiles were found. Seven SIRU patterns were observed in the 11 SCCmec type VT isolates. 



Different typing methods showed a similar Hunter–Gaston discrimination index among the 157 MRSA isolates. However, dru and SIRU typing methods had a better discriminatory power for SCCmec type III and SCCmec types IV and VT isolates, respectively, suggesting that dru and SIRU can be used to further type these isolates. 


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