Characterization of SCC
Abstract:Svensson K, Hellmark B, Söderquist B. Characterization of SCCmec elements in methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from blood cultures from neonates during three decades. APMIS 2011; 119: 885–93.
Staphylococcus epidermidis is a major cause of nosocomial infections in immunocompromised patients and the predominant pathogen in catheter‐related infections and bloodstream infections. Approximately 70–80% of S. epidermidis carry the mecA gene encoding methicillin resistance. The mecA gene is located on a mobile genetic element, the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). The aim of this study was to characterize the SCCmec elements as well as the adjacent arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) in 30 clinical blood isolates of mecA positive S. epidermidis obtained from neonates and collected over a period of three decades. The ccr and mec gene complexes were identified using PCR. The SCCmec elements were found among 29/30 isolates and 13 different combinations of ccr gene complexes and mec gene complexes were identified. Staphylococcus epidermidis regularly carried multiple copies of ccr gene complexes, but only one class of mec gene complex. Three isolates could be assigned the SCCmec type III (3A). The combinations of ccr gene complexes and the mec gene complexes differed among the three decades. The most frequent combination was class B mec in combination with ccr1 and ccr2. Staphylococcus epidermidis may constitute a large reservoir for SCCmec elements, and frequent exchange of mobile genetic elements between staphylococcal species may explain the emergence of new MRSA strains.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Microbiology
Publication date: December 1, 2011