Indexed on: 29 Jul '08Published on: 29 Jul '08Published in: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Staphylococcus aureus has become a major source of hospital infections and the risk of colonisation and infection by community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) is increasingly higher. Because of the importance of S. aureus to public health, many molecular typing methods have been developed to determine its transmission routes and source of infection during epidemiological investigations. In this study we evaluated the usefulness of multiplex PCR based Multi-Locus VNTR Fingerprinting (MLVF) as the first step method for rapid differentiation of Croatian and Polish S. aureus isolates in hospital and community settings. This is a first report of the usefulness of MLVF in typing of hospital-acquired methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (HA-MSSA) and four CA-MRSA isolates. A total of 47 isolates of S. aureus recovered in Croatia in 2004 and in Poland in 2006 and 2007 were tested. The MLVF results were compared to those produced by other typing methods, such as Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) and spa typing. The MLVF analysis showed almost the same clonality results as the remaining typing methods although some differences were found. Epidemiological data about the relation among S. aureus isolates and the results produced by typing methods applied in the present study indicate that because of the advantages in ease and speed of Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (VNTR) procedure over PFGE, spa typing and MLST, MLVF can be used as a first screening method followed by additional typing.