Characterisation of the Staphylococcussciuri group by Matrix-Assisted LaserDesorption/Ionisation Time-of-FlightMass Spectrometry

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Coales, M.C;Bunch, A.W;McKenna, T;Batchelor, J.
ASM 2002; Salt Lake City; 19th-23rd May
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Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are recognised as important nosocomial pathogens. Laboratory identification and susceptibility testing remain important tools in the epidemiology and control of staphylococcal infection. Multi-drug resistance, particularly methicillin resistance is an escalating problem. The mechanism of resistance is an escalating problem. The mechanism of resistance among S. aureus (MRSA) and CNS is encoded by the mec A gene, and has been found to be ubiquitous among the primitive animal CNS- Staphylococcus sciuri. It has been hypothesised that S. sciuri is a natural reservoir of methicillin resistance genes. Until recently S. sciuri has seldom been recovered from clinical material and rarely implicated in human infections. Over the past three at Ashford Public Health Laboratory, 160 isolates of S. sciuri identified using the API32 Staph (Biomerieux) have been recovered from clinical samples, 30% of which expressed methicillin resistance. Seventeen ATCC strains of the S. sciuri group, comprising of S. sciuri subsp. scirui, S. sciuri subsp. carnaticus, S. sciuri subsp. rodentium, S. lentus and S. vitulinus were analysed using matrix-assisted laser desportion/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and a database created. The aim of this study is to identify and compare clinical and non-clinical isolates using MALDI-TOF-MS. The results will be used to assess any correlation between subspecies of S. sciuri, and whether there is a link between expressed methicillin resistance in clinical isolates and assumed exposure to antibiotic pressure by comparing hospital acquired isolates with the community acquied isolates.

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