Molecular epidemiology of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Italian cystic fibrosis patients: A national overview

P. Cocchi, L. Cariani, F. Favari, A. Lambiase, E. Fiscarelli, F. V. Gioffré, A. d'Aprile, E. Manso, G. Taccetti, C. Braggion, G. Döring, M. de Martino, S. Campana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The genetic background, transmissibility and virulence of MRSA have been poorly investigated in the cystic fibrosis (CF) population. The aim of this multicentre study was to analyse MRSA strains isolated from CF patients attending nine Italian CF care centres during a two-year period (2004-2005). All CF patients infected by MRSA were included. Method: Antibiotic susceptibility testing, SCC. mec typing, Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) production, and Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) analysis were carried out on collected isolates (one strain per patient). Results: One hundred and seventy-eight strains isolated from 2360 patients attending the participating centres were analysed. We detected 56 (31.4%) SCC. mec IV PVL-negative strains, with a resistance rate of 80.3% to clindamycin and of 14.5% to trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole. MLST analysis showed that many isolates belonged to known epidemic lineages. The largest clone grouping of 29 isolates from 6 centres had the genetic background (ST8-MRSA-IV) of the American lineages USA300 and USA500, thus demonstrating the diffusion of these strains in a population considered at risk for hospital associated infections. Conclusions: Known MRSA epidemic clones such as USA600, USA800, USA1100, and UK EMRSA-3 were described for the first time in Italy. The diffusion of MRSA strains with high pathogenic potential in the CF population suggests that analysis of the MRSA strains involved in pulmonary infections of these patients is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-411
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • MLST
  • MRSA
  • SCCmec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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