Background: Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has spread throughout the world with varying regional incidences and different staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCC. mec) elements in different genetic backgrounds. No information is available on CA-MRSA in Iran. A cross-sectional study was carried out among healthy students to investigate: (1) the prevalence of CA-MRSA in Central Iran, (2) the molecular epidemiology of such CA-MRSA strains, (3) the antimicrobial resistance patterns of the strains, and (4) the distribution of virulence genes in these CA-MRSA strains. Methods: A total of 700 nasal swabs were collected and subjected to S. aureus and MRSA-specific isolation procedures. Antimicrobial resistance patterns were determined using the disk diffusion method, and molecular typing was carried out by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), SCC. mec typing, and Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing for all CA-MRSA isolates. PCR was used to detect various virulence genes. Results: One hundred fifty-four S. aureus strains were isolated from the anterior nares of 700 healthy students. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions for CA-MRSA, seven (4.5%) isolates were confirmed as CA-MRSA. CA-MRSA isolates belonged to SCC. mec types IV (n = 6) and V (n = 1). The predominant spa-type among the CA-MRSA isolates was t790 (n = 3), with single t660, t084, and t325 isolates; one isolate was not typeable. The predominant sequence type was ST22, t790, SCC. mec IV in three isolates, and the four other sequence types were ST25, ST859, ST14, and ST15. Conclusions: Iranian CA-MRSA strains are genetically diverse with an elevated prevalence of t790/ST22 SCC. mec IV isolates. These findings support the need for more effective infection control measures to reduce nasal carriage and prevent dissemination of CA-MRSA in Iran.

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International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Japoni-Nejad, A, Rezazadeh, M, Kazemian, H, Fardmousavi, N, van Belkum, A.F, & Ghaznavi Rad, E. (2013). Molecular characterization of the first community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains from Central Iran. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 17(11), 949–954. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2013.03.023