Objectives: The aim of this paper is to attribute Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL)-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to clonal lineages by molecular typing with special reference to isolates exhibiting spa type t008/multilocus sequence type (MLST) ST8 [widely disseminated in the USA as 'community-associated MRSA (caMRSA) USA300'].
Methods: PVL-positive MRSA (n = 117) were detected among 4815 MRSA sent to the German National Reference Laboratory for typing. These isolates were analysed by PFGE, spa typing, multilocus sequence typing, grouping of SCCmec elements and PCR detection of arcA, msr(A), mph(B) and the > or =6 AT repeat unit in the SACOL0058 sequence.
Results: Among the 117 isolates, 80 exhibited spa type t044 (corresponding to MLST ST80) and 23 exhibited spa type t008/MLST ST8. Other spa types were sporadically represented. Further characterization of isolates exhibiting t008/ST8 by PCR [arcA, msr(A), mph(B), > or =6 AT repeat signature] indicates the arrival of caMRSA 'USA300' in Central Europe.
Conclusions: caMRSA ST80 still predominate; however, caMRSA ST8 exhibiting the characteristics of the 'USA300' clone became the second most frequent. Routine detection of this clone in clinical bacteriology can be easily performed by PCR.