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A common variant of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IVa in isolates from Copenhagen, Denmark, is not detected by the BD GeneOhm methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus assay.

Department of Clinical Microbiology, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.
Journal of clinical microbiology (Impact Factor: 4.16). 04/2009; 47(5):1524-7. DOI:10.1128/JCM.02153-08
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Rapid tests for detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage are important to limit the transmission of MRSA in the health care setting. We evaluated the performance of the BD GeneOhm MRSA real-time PCR assay using a diverse collection of MRSA isolates, mainly from Copenhagen, Denmark, but also including international isolates, e.g., USA100-1100. Pure cultures of 349 MRSA isolates representing variants of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) types I to V and 103 different staphylococcal protein A (spa) types were tested. In addition, 53 methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus isolates were included as negative controls. Forty-four MRSA isolates were undetectable; of these, 95% harbored SCCmec type IVa, and these included the most-common clone in Copenhagen, spa t024-sequence type 8-IVa. The false-negative MRSA isolates were tested with new primers (analyte-specific reagent [ASR] BD GeneOhm MRSA assay) supplied by Becton Dickinson (BD). The ASR BD GeneOhm MRSA assay detected 42 of the 44 isolates that were false negative in the BD GeneOhm MRSA assay. Combining the BD GeneOhm MRSA assay with the ASR BD GeneOhm MRSA assay greatly improved the results, with only two MRSA isolates being false negative. The BD GeneOhm MRSA assay alone is not adequate for MRSA detection in Copenhagen, Denmark, as more than one-third of our MRSA isolates would not be detected. We recommend that the BD GeneOhm MRSA assay be evaluated against the local MRSA diversity before being established as a standard assay, and due to the constant evolution of SCCmec cassettes, a continuous global surveillance is advisable in order to update the assay as necessary.

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