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Characterization of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from public surfaces on a university campus, student homes and local community

AIM: Isolation and characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from frequently touched nonhospital environmental surfaces at a large university, student homes and community sites. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-four isolates from 21 (4·1%, n = 509) surfaces were MRSA positive and included 14 (58%, n = 24) SCCmec type IV, two (8%, n = 24) type I, and eight (33%, n = 24) were not type I-IV (NT). Six different multilocus sequencing types were identified by PCR and sequencing. PCR assays identified one (4·2%, n = 24) Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) positive, 22 (92%, n = 24) arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) positive and 23 (96%, n = 24) multidrug-resistant (kanamycin, macrolide, tetracycline) MRSA isolates. Eleven (46%, n = 24) USA300 isolates were determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. CONCLUSION: The MRSA-positive environmental surfaces were identified in student homes (11·8%, n = 85), the community (2·3%, n = 130) and the university (2·7%, n = 294). USA300 strains were isolated from the university, student homes and community samples. This is the first report of the animal clone ST97 on urban environmental surfaces. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The study highlights the distribution of USA300 on frequently touched surfaces. Whether contact with these MRSA contaminated environmental surfaces are associated with increased risk of transmission of MRSA to people needs further research. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2011;110:1531-1537.

Author: Roberts MC, Soge OO, No D, Helgeson SE, Meschke JS

Published: 01/01/2011

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Journal of Applied Microbiology