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      The current role of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) typing and the retrospective identification of outbreaks

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          The objective of this paper was to investigate whether retrospective pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates at two-year intervals is suitable and sufficient to demonstrate changes in the clonal composition of MRSA isolates and to identify previously undetected local outbreaks. PFGE patterns of 400 MRSA isolates were collected between 2004 and 2008 at the University of Rostock Hospital in Germany, and were used to assess the prevalence of MRSA clones at different time points. Only minor changes were detected. The combined analysis of all isolates that were collected per year reduced the time needed to perform this laborious procedure. The retrospective identification of outbreaks may require shorter intervals. Improved infection prevention and control measures prevented further outbreaks in previously affected hospital departments. In conclusion, PGFE at two-year intervals is sufficient to detect changes in the clonal composition of local MRSA isolates. If time for identification is important during outbreak investigations, more rapid methods with a similarly high discriminatory power such as spa typing should be used.

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          Separation of yeast chromosome-sized DNAs by pulsed field gradient gel electrophoresis.

          A new type of gel electrophoresis separates DNA molecules up to 2000 kb with resolutions exceeding the logarithmic molecular weight dependence of conventional electrophoresis. The technique uses 1.5% agarose, 10 to 20 micrograms of DNA per well, and low ionic strength buffers. It employs alternately pulsed, perpendicularly oriented electrical fields, at least one of which is inhomogeneous. The duration of the applied electrical pulses is varied from 1 sec to 90 sec to achieve optimal separations for DNAs with sizes from 30 to 2000 kb. This pulsed field gradient gel electrophoresis fractionates intact S. cerevisiae chromosomal DNA, producing a molecular karyotype that greatly facilitates the assignment of genes to yeast chromosomes. Each yeast chromosome consists of a single piece of DNA; the chromosome sizes are consistent with the genetic linkage map. We also describe a general method for preparing spheroplasts, and cell lysates, without significant chromosomal DNA breakage.
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            Frequent emergence and limited geographic dispersal of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

            A small number of clonal lineages dominates the global population structure of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), resulting in the concept that MRSA has emerged on a few occasions after penicillinase-stable beta-lactam antibiotics were introduced to clinical practice, followed by intercontinental spread of individual clones. We investigated the evolutionary history of an MRSA clone (ST5) by mutation discovery at 108 loci (46 kb) within a global collection of 135 isolates. The SNPs that were ascertained define a radial phylogenetic structure within ST5 consisting of at least 5 chains of mutational steps that define geographically associated clades. These clades are not concordant with previously described groupings based on staphylococcal protein A gene (spa) typing. By mapping the number of independent imports of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome methicillin-resistance island, we also show that import has occurred on at least 23 occasions within this single sequence type and that the progeny of such recombinant strains usually are distributed locally rather than globally. These results provide strong evidence that geographical spread of MRSA over long distances and across cultural borders is a rare event compared with the frequency with which the staphylococcal cassette chromosome island has been imported.
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              DNA microarray-based genotyping of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains from Eastern Saxony.

              A diagnostic microarray was used to characterise a collection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates from hospitals in the German region of Eastern Saxony. The most abundant epidemic MRSA (EMRSA) strains were ST5-MRSA II (Rhine-Hesse EMRSA, EMRSA-3), CC5/ST228-MRSA I (South German EMRSA), ST22-MRSA IV (Barnim EMRSA, EMRSA-15) and ST45-MRSA IV (Berlin EMRSA). Other strains were found only as sporadic isolates or in minor outbreaks. These strains included ST1-MRSA IV, ST8-MRSA IV (Hannover EMRSA and others), clonal group 5 strains carrying SCCmec type IV elements (Paediatric clone), ST45-MRSA V, CC8/ST239-MRSA III and ST398-MRSA V. Panton-Valentine leukocidin-positive MRSA isolates were still very rare. The predominant strain was ST80-MRSA IV, although increasing numbers of different strains have recently been detected (ST8-MRSA IV, ST30-MRSA IV and ST59-MRSA V). For more common MRSA strains, it was possible to detect variants that differed mainly in the carriage of additional resistance determinants and certain virulence-associated genes. Detection of such variants can sometimes allow epidemic strains to be resolved beyond spa types to a hospital-specific level, which is of significant value for epidemiological purposes.

                Author and article information

                European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                1 June 2012
                13 June 2012
                : 2
                : 2 ( otherID: K022535X4502 )
                : 128-133
                [ 1 ] German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute Hamburg Germany
                [ 2 ] University of Rostock Hospital Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene Rostock Germany
                [ 3 ] German Armed Forces Hospital of Ulm Department of Internal Medicine Ulm Germany
                [ 4 ] German Armed Forces Hospital of Hamburg Department of Tropical Medicine at the Bernhard Nocht Institute Bernhard-Nocht-Strasse 74 D-20359 Hamburg Germany
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