Journal Article

Unusual Spread of a Penicillin-Susceptible Methicillin-Resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> Clone in a Geographic Area of Low Incidence

D. S. Blanc, C. Petignat, P. Moreillon, J. M. Entenza, M.-C. Eisenring, H. Kleiber, A. Wenger, N. Troillet, C.-H. Blanc and P. Francioli

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 6, pages 1512-1518
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/313522
Unusual Spread of a Penicillin-Susceptible Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clone in a Geographic Area of Low Incidence

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We describe the unusual spread of a penicillin-susceptible methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clone in hospitals in western Switzerland, where the incidence of MRSA is usually low. During a 2-year period, this clone had been responsible for several outbreaks and had been isolated from >156 persons in 21 institutions. Molecular typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) demonstrated that all of these isolates belonged to the same clone. In 1 of the outbreaks, involving 30 cases, the clone was responsible for at least 17 secondary cases. In contrast, during the period of the latter outbreak, 9 other patients harboring different MRSA strains, as assessed by PFGE, were hospitalized in the same wards, but no secondary cases occurred. These observations suggest that this clone, compared with other MRSA strains, had some intrinsic factor(s) that contributed to its ability to disseminate and could thus be considered epidemic.

Journal Article.  3730 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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