Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are among the most frequently isolated bacterial species in clinical microbiology, and most CNS-related infections are hospital acquired. Distinguishing between these frequently multiple-antibiotic-resistant isolates is important for both treatment and transmission control. In this study we used isolates of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MR-CNS) that were selected from a large surveillance study of the direct spread of MR-CNS. This strain collection was used to evaluate (i) Raman spectroscopy as a typing tool for MR-CNS isolates and (ii) diversity between colonies with identical and different morphologies. Reproducibility was high, with 215 of 216 (99.5%) of the replicate samples for 72 isolates ending up in the same cluster. The concordance with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)-based clusters was 94.4%. We also confirm that the skin of patients can be colonized with multiple MR-CNS types at the same time. Morphological differences between colonies from a single patient sample correlated with differences in Raman and PFGE types. Some morphologically indistinguishable colonies revealed different Raman and PFGE types. This indicates that multiple MR-CNS colonies should be examined to obtain a complete insight into the prevalence of different types and to be able to perform an accurate transmission analysis. Here we show that Raman spectroscopy is a reproducible typing system for MR-CNS isolates. It is a tool for screening variability within a collection of isolates. Because of the high throughput, it enables the analysis of multiple colonies per patient, which will enhance the quality of clinical and epidemiological studies. Copyright,
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Willemse-Erix, H.F.M, Jachtenberg, J-W, Barutçi, H, Puppels, G.J, van Belkum, A.F, Voss, A, & Maquelin, K. (2010). Proof of principle for successful characterization of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from skin by use of raman spectroscopy and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 48(3), 736–740. doi:10.1128/JCM.01153-09