We investigated the genetic relatedness of 5 community-acquired (CA) Staphylococcus aureus isolates obtained from 4 consecutive pediatric patients presenting with sepsis syndrome and severe pneumonia during a 3-week period in 2000. Two patients were infected with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and 2 were infected with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns for the 2 CA-MRSA isolates were identical to each other, as were the patterns for the 3 CA-MSSA isolates. A 2-band difference reflecting the presence of a staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) element distinguished the CA-MRSA isolates from the CA-MSSA isolates. The small, mobile type IV SCCmec element was present in the CA-MRSA isolates. These data suggest that an insertion or, less likely, a deletion of the SCCmec type IV element occurred in a highly virulent S. aureus background. Staphylococcal toxin genes sea, seh, lukS-PV, and lukF-PV were detected in all isolates. Also, in all isolates, was a partial homolog of seo (seo'). The relationship among these patient isolates strengthens the assumption that CA-MRSA infections may be caused by isolates closely related to MSSA isolates.