Comparison of Phenotypic MRSA Detection Methods with PCR for <em>mecA</em> Gene in the Background of Emergence of Oxacillin-Susceptible MRSA

Microb Drug Resist. 2021 Mar 9. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2020.0361. Online ahead of print.


Background: Phenotypic methods for detection of methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can be inaccurate due to heterogeneous expression of resistance and due to environmental factors that influence the expression of resistance. This study aims to compare various phenotypic methods of detection of methicillin resistance with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for mecA gene and to detect the presence of oxacillin-susceptible MRSA (OS-MRSA). Materials and Methods: A total of 150 S. aureus isolates were tested using cefoxitin disk diffusion, oxacillin salt agar (OSA), latex agglutination test for penicillin binding protein 2a antigen, chromogenic MRSA ID agar, and mecA PCR. Results: Using PCR as the gold standard, 91 (60.66%) of 150 clinical S. aureus strains were identified as MRSA. Three oxacillin-susceptible (minimum inhibitory concentration ≤2 μg/mL) mecA-positive isolates were classified as OS-MRSA. Among the different phenotypic MRSA detection methods studied, latex agglutination had the highest sensitivity and specificity (98.9% and 98.3%), followed by cefoxitin disk diffusion (95.6% and 98.3%), MRSA ID (97.8% and 83.05%), and OSA (86.81% and 94.92%). Conclusion: The sensitivity of cefoxitin disk diffusion method may be reduced in areas with a high prevalence of OS-MRSA where a combination of cefoxitin disk diffusion test with MRSA ID agar or latex agglutination is recommended.

PMID:33689504 | DOI:10.1089/mdr.2020.0361