STAR gene restriction profile analysis in epidemiological typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: description of the new method and comparison with other polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2003 Nov;47(3):455-64. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(03)00137-8.


A method based on restriction profile analysis of the STAR repetitive element PCR (STAR-RP PCR) product obtained by digestion with AluI and Tru9I was developed for typing methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We evaluated a well defined collection of MRSA from Argentina, previously characterized by PFGE (pulsed field gel electrophoresis) of chromosomal SmaI digests and hybridization with DNA probes for probes ClaI-mecA and ClaI-Tn554. We comparatively evaluated STAR-RP analysis with other PCR based methods such as Inter IS256-PCR, Rep-MP3 PCR and Coa-RP. The discriminatory power (D) of STAR-RP (0.86) was similar to that of PFGE (0.84) at the type level. Comparable results were obtained with Inter IS256 PCR (0.85) and Rep-MP3 PCR (0.80). A lower value (0.74) was obtained for Coa-RP. An excellent reproducibility (100%) of STAR-RP was observed. Good concordance between STAR-RP and other molecular typing methods was found for MRSA isolates (n = 39). STAR-RP typing showed 87% concordance with mecA::Tn554::PFGE, 87% with Inter IS256 PCR and 71% with Rep-MP3 typing. STAR-RP is suggested as an adequate molecular typing assay for MRSA epidemiologic assessment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Argentina
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / classification*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial