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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-23

Typing of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus: A technical review

Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002, India

Correspondence Address:
P L Mehndiratta
Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.93015

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Increasing prevalence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) worldwide is a growing public health concern. MRSA typing is an essential component of an effective surveillance system to describe epidemiological trends and infection control strategies. Current challenges for MRSA typing are focused on selecting the most appropriate technique in terms of efficiency, reliability, ease of performance and cost involved. This review summarises the available information on application, potential and problems of various typing techniques in discriminating the strains and understanding the epidemiology of MRSA strains. The phenotypic methods in general are easier to perform, easier to interpret, cost effective and are widely available, however less discriminatory. The genotypic methods are expensive and technically demanding, however more discriminatory. Newer technologies involving sequencing of various genes are coming up as broadly applicable and high throughput typing systems. Still there is no consensus regarding the single best method for typing of MRSA strains. Phage typing is recommended as first line approach in epidemiological investigation of MRSA strains. PFGE remains the gold standard for characterisation of outbreak strains. DNA sequencing methods including MLST, spa typing, SCCmec typing and toxin gene profile typing are more practical methods for detecting evolutionary changes and transmission events. The choice of typing technique further depends on the purpose of the study, the facilities available and the utility of data generated to answer a desirable research question. A need for harmonisation of typing techniques by following standard protocols is emphasised to establish surveillance networks and facilitate global MRSA control.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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