ABSTRACT: Of the 9 vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) cases reported to date in the literature, 7 occurred in Michigan. In 5 of the 7 Michigan VRSA cases, an Inc18-like vanA plasmid was identified in the VRSA isolate and/or an associated vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) isolate from the same patient. This plasmid may play a critical role in the emergence of VRSA. We studied the geographical distribution of the plasmid by testing 1,641 VRE isolates from three separate collections by PCR for plasmid-specific genes traA, repR, and vanA. Isolates from one collection (phase 2) were recovered from surveillance cultures collected in 17 hospitals in 13 states. All VRE isolates from 2 Michigan institutions (n = 386) and between 60 and 70 VRE isolates (n = 883) from the other hospitals were tested. Fifteen VRE isolates (3.9%) from Michigan were positive for an Inc18-like vanA plasmid (9 E. faecalis [12.5%], 3 E. faecium [1.0%], 2 E. avium, and 1 E. raffinosus). Six VRE isolates (0.6%) from outside Michigan were positive (3 E. faecalis [2.7%] and 3 E. faecium [0.4%]). Of all E. faecalis isolates tested, 6.0% were positive for the plasmid, compared to 0.6% for E. faecium and 3.0% for other spp. Fourteen of the 15 plasmid-positive isolates from Michigan had the same Tn1546 insertion site location as the VRSA-associated Inc18-like plasmid, whereas 5 of 6 plasmid-positive isolates from outside Michigan differed in this characteristic. Most plasmid-positive E. faecalis isolates demonstrated diverse patterns by PFGE, with the exception of three pairs with indistinguishable patterns, suggesting that the plasmid is mobile in nature. Although VRE isolates with the VRSA-associated Inc18-like vanA plasmid were more common in Michigan, they remain rare. Periodic surveillance of VRE isolates for the plasmid may be useful in predicting the occurrence of VRSA.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2010; 54(10):4314-20. · 4.84 Impact Factor