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Volume 52, Number 2, April 2019

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in international medical conference attendees 


Yhu-Chering Huang, Lin-Hui Su, Tsu-Lan Wu, Tzou-Yien Lin


 

Background and purpose: 

Carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is associated with its transmission. International travels and massive gatherings may accelerate such transmission. MRSA carriage was surveyed among the attendees of two international medical conferences held in Taipei in 2010.

 



 

Methods:

A total of 209 attendees from 23 countries were recruited. Nasal specimens were collected from each volunteer and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection for MRSA. Molecular analysis, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), typing of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) and staphylococcal protein A (spa) genes, and detection of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) and sasX genes, was performed. 



 

Results:

MRSA carriage was detected in 10 (4.8%) attendees from Vietnam (3/8, 37.5%), Korea (2/6, 33.3%), Japan (2/41, 4.9%), Philippines (2/52, 3.8%), and Bangladesh (1/4, 25.0%). The proportion of MRSA colonizers was significantly higher in the local hospital group compared to those from the other groups (3/17 vs. 7/192, p < 0.05). Six MRSA isolates were available for molecular analysis. They all carried a type IV SCCmec gene. Five pulsotypes were identified; four genotypes, respectively, were identified by MLST and spa typing. None of the isolates carried either PVL or sasX genes. None of common molecular characteristics was shared by isolates from different countries. Most of these isolates were local endemic community clone in each country. 



 

Conclusion:

As healthcare workers, a certain proportion of international medical conference attendees harbored MRSA in their nares, mostly local endemic community clones in each country, which has the potential of spread among attendees. 



 

Key words:

Colonization Conference attendee International travel Massive gathering Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus