Comparison of PCR and phenotypic methods for the detection of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Iran J Microbiol. 2021 Feb;13(1):31-36. doi: 10.18502/ijm.v13i1.5489.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Resistance to methicillin in methicillin resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is due to the presence of mec-A gene, which encodes a low affinity penicillin binding protein (PBP)-2a or PBP2. Accurate and rapid identification of MRSA in clinical specimens is essential for timely decision on effective treatment. The aim of the study was to compare three different methods for detection of MRSA namely cefoxitin disc diffusion, CHROM agar MRSA and VITEK-2 susceptibility with PCR which is the gold standard reference method and to find the antibiotic susceptibility pattern of these isolates by VITEK-2.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A Total of 100 non-duplicate S. aureus isolates were collected from different clinical samples among both outpatient and inpatients. Detection of MRSA among these isolates was done by cefoxitin disc diffusion, VITEK-2, CHROM agar MRSA and PCR.

RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity of cefoxitin disc diffusion and Vitek was found to be 97.2% and 100%, while that of CHROM agar was found to be 100% and 78.6%. The overall prevalence of MRSA in our study by PCR was 72%.

CONCLUSION: Based on the findings in our study, isolates which show cefoxitin zone diameter < 22 mm can be reported as MRSA. However, those isolates which have a zone diameter between 22-24 mm, should ideally be confirmed by PCR.

PMID:33889360 | PMC:PMC8043827 | DOI:10.18502/ijm.v13i1.5489