Journal Article

Cross-Canada Spread of Methicillin-Resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> via Transplant Organs

Lynn Johnston, Linda Chui, Nicholas Chang, Sheila Macdonald, Margaret McKenzie, William Kennedy, David Haldane, Robert Bethune, Geoff Taylor, Martha Hanakowski and Tyrrell Tyrrell

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 4, pages 819-823
Published in print August 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Cross-Canada Spread of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus via Transplant Organs

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We report our investigation of the transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) through transplantation. The kidneys, liver, and corneas were harvested from a child who died in Nova Scotia. Several days postmortem it was learned that culture of a premortem endotracheal tube aspirate from the donor yielded MRSA. Both kidneys were transplanted into a child in Nova Scotia and the liver into a child in Alberta. Both recipients subsequently became blood culture–positive for MRSA. One corneal ring from the donor was MRSA-positive. All four MRSA isolates were mecA-positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The relatedness of the MRSA isolates was examined by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, a 16S-23S ribosomal PCR typing method, and comparison of antibiograms. Results were identical for all four MRSA isolates. These findings indicate that MRSA from the donor was transferred to recipients during implantation of harvested organs in Alberta and Nova Scotia, a cross-Canada spread.

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

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