To characterize the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clones present in Istanbul, 102 MRSA isolates collected during a 5-year period at the Istanbul Medical Faculty Hospital were characterized using microarray analysis and phenotypic resistance profiles.
Resistance to methicillin was detected with a cefoxitin disk diffusion assay and confirmed with a MRSA-agar and MRSA detection kit. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by a disk diffusion assay and interpreted according to the 2012 guidelines of the Antibiogram Committee of the French Society for Microbiology. Decreased susceptibility to glycopeptides was confirmed using the population analysis profile-area under the curve (PAP-AUC) method. The presence of the mecA gene was detected by polymerase chain reaction. Bacterial DNA was extracted according to the manufacturer's recommended protocol using commercial extraction kits. Strains were extensively characterized using the DNA microarray.
Isolates were grouped into six clonal complexes. The most frequently detected clone was the Vienna/Hungarian/Brazilian clone (ST239-MRSA-III), which accounted for 53.9% of the isolates. These isolates were resistant to multiple antibiotics, particularly penicillin, tetracycline, rifampicin, kanamycin, tobramycin, gentamicin, levofloxacin, erythromycin, lincomycin and fosfomycin. Furthermore, three isolates were detected by population analysis profile as heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (hVISA). The UK-EMRSA-15 clone (ST22-MRSA-IV PVL negative) was detected in 9.8% of the isolates and was mainly susceptible to all anti-staphylococcal antibiotics. Seven isolates (6.9%) were positive for PVL genes and were assigned to the CC80-MRSA-IV clone (European CA-MRSA clone, three isolates), ST8-MRSA-IV clone (USA300 clone, two isolates, one ACME-positive) or ST22-MRSA-IV clone ("Regensburg EMRSA" clone, two isolates). All other clones were detected in one to six isolates and corresponded to well-known clones (e.g., Pediatric clone, Dublin EMRSA clone, WA MRSA-54/63, WA MRSA-1/57).
This work highlighted both the high prevalence of ST239-MRSA-III clone and the large diversity of the other MRSA clones detected in a university hospital in Istanbul.