Molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Colombian hospitals: dominance of a single unique multidrug-resistant clone

Microb Drug Resist. Spring 2001;7(1):23-32. doi: 10.1089/107662901750152729.


The first study on the molecular characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates from Colombia was performed as part of a global surveillance established by the CEM/NET Initiative, under Project RESIST. Seventy-six MRSA isolates recovered from five hospitals during 1996-1998 were analyzed by the hybridization of ClaI restriction digests with mecA- and Tn554-specific probes, and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of chromosomal SmaI digests. All MRSA isolates, with one exception, belonged to a single clonal type II::NH::D. This clone, which was previously described among MRSA isolates recovered in the early 1990s in European and New York and South American hospitals, showed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics only and appeared to be associated almost exclusively with pediatric infections ("Pediatric clone" of MRSA). While sharing identical molecular typing properties with the Pediatric clone, the Colombian isolates differed by extensive multidrug resistance and were recovered from patients of all ages. It is also noteworthy that the Brazilian clone of MRSA (XI::B::B), another multidrug-resistant international clone currently widely spread in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and also in several European countries, was completely absent from this set of isolates from Colombia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clone Cells
  • Colombia
  • Cross Infection / genetics
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance / genetics*
  • Oxacillin / pharmacology
  • Penicillin Resistance
  • Penicillins / pharmacology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Penicillins
  • Oxacillin