Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is notorious as a hospital superbug and a problematic pathogen among communities. The incidence of MRSA has substantially increased over time in Iraq. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and spa types of MRSA isolates from outpatients or patients upon admission into hospitals. Various biochemical tests identified S. aureus isolates, and then this identification was confirmed by PCR using species-specific 16S rRNA primer pairs. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined against methicillin, oxacillin, and vancomycin using the disk diffusion method. Vancomycin MIC was detected by VITEK 2 compact system. All the identified isolates were screened for the presence of mecA and lukS-PV-lukF-PV genes; 36 of them were subjected to spa typing-based PCR. Out of 290 clinical samples, 65 (22.4%) were S. aureus, of which 62 (95.4%) strains were resistant to oxacillin and methicillin. Except for two isolates, all MRSA isolates were mecA positive. One of the three MSSA isolates was mecA positive. Five strains were resistant to vancomycin. Fourteen (21.5%) isolates were positive for the presence of lukS-PV-lukF-PV genes. Spa typing of 36 S. aureus isolates revealed eleven different spa types, t304 (30.3%), t307 (19.4%), t346 (8.3%), t044 (8.3%), t15595 (8.3%), t386 (5.5%), t5475 (5.5%), t17928 (2.8%), t14870 (2.8%), t021 (2.8%), and t024 (2.8%). These findings could be useful for assessing the genetic relatedness of strains in the region for epidemiological and monitoring purposes, which would be essential to limiting the spread of MRSA.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology