Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of methicillin and vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from human clinical samples in Kerman hospitals, Iran

Authors: Fatemeh Shahabinejad, Sina Salajegheh Tazerji, Rasha Gharieb, Phelipe Magalhães Duarte

Ger. J. Microbiol. 2024. vol. 4, Iss. 2 pp:29-38


Today, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates are widely spread in both communities and hospitals, causing high morbidity and mortality worldwide. However, the emergence of vancomycin resistance among MRSA isolates has been perceived as a formidable threat to therapeutic management. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine the frequency and antibiotic susceptibility of MRSA and vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA) strains in Kerman hospitals in Iran. A total of 455 human clinical samples were collected from Kerman hospitals. The samples were examined for the presence of S. aureus and the isolates were tested for their susceptibility to antibiotics by disk diffusion method. MRSA and VRSA isolates were detected by a combination of phenotypic and genotypic methods. Sixty-five coagulase-positive S. aureus strains were isolated, and the higher isolation rate was from wound samples (47.7%) compared with blood (18.5%), respiratory tract secretions (10.8%), urine (10.8%), body fluids (9.2%), abscess (1.5%), and cerebrospinal fluids (1.5%). The isolates exhibited high resistance toward tetracycline (69.2%). Thirty-four isolates (52.3%) were categorized as MRSA (phenotypically resistant to cefoxitin). mecA gene was amplified in 97.1% of MRSA strains. Moreover, only one MRSA strain was resistant to vancomycin (MIC=128), and this isolate carried the vanA gene. The frequency of MRSA was not significantly associated with gender, age, sample type, and sampling locality (p>0.05). Given the alarming rate of resistance among MRSA isolates, monitoring of antibiotic resistance should be performed to reduce treatment failure in patients with staphylococcal infections. Although vancomycin remains a drug of choice for MRSA, our study suggests that its efficacy may be limited by resistance development.


Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin, Vancomycin, Resistance, mecA gene, vanA gene


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