Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage from children attending an outpatient clinic in Seoul, Korea

Microb Drug Resist. 2008 Mar;14(1):37-44. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2008.0776.


Nasal swabs were collected to isolate S. aureus in 296 children, who visited the pediatrics department with a variety of symptoms. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from 95 children (32.1%). Of the isolates, 18 were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (18.9%). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for all S. aureus cultured and the molecular characteristics were investigated. Forty-nine spa types were identified among the S. aureus isolates, and were classified into 13 spa groups (A-L). The most prevalent clone (34 isolates, 35.8%) belonged to the spa group B (spa repeat motif, WG/FKAOMQ), which corresponded to sequence type 30 (ST30) and its variants. Sixteen different spa types, within the spa group B, suggested that this group has evolved over a long period of time. In addition, all S. aureus isolates belonging to the spa group B were methicillin-susceptible, indicating that this group might represent successful adaptation of this clone in the community setting with low antibiotic pressure. The most frequently found clone in the MRSA group was spa group C (spa repeat motif, DMGGM) and SCCmec type IVA, which represented half of the MRSA isolates and corresponded to ST72. ST5-MRSA-II, the most prevalent MRSA clone in Korean hospitals, was found in only two isolates. These findings suggest that strains of S. aureus nasal carriage in Korean children visiting an outpatient pediatric department were different from the strains identified in hospital infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Carrier State
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Korea
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Nose / microbiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*