Predominance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus -ST88 and new ST1797 causing wound infection and abscesses

J Infect Dev Ctries. 2012 Aug 21;6(8):620-5. doi: 10.3855/jidc.2093.


Introduction: Although there has been a worldwide emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), little is known about the molecular epidemiology of MRSA in Tanzania.

Methodology: In this study, we characterized MRSA strains isolated from clinical specimens at the Bugando Medical Centre, Tanzania, between January and December 2008. Of 160 S. aureus isolates from 600 clinical specimens, 24 (15%) were found to be MRSA. Besides molecular screening for the Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes by PCR, MRSA strains were further characterized by Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) and spa typing.

Results: Despite considerable genetic diversity, the spa types t690 (29.1%) and t7231 (41.6%), as well as the sequence types (ST) 88 (54.2%) and 1797 (29.1%), were dominant among clinical isolates. The PVL genes were detected in 4 isolates; of these, 3 were found in ST 88 and one in ST1820. Resistance to erythromycin, clindamicin, gentamicin, tetracycline and co-trimoxazole was found in 45.8%, 62.5%, 41.6%, 45.8% and 50% of the strains, respectively.

Conclusion: We present the first thorough typing of MRSA at a Tanzanian hospital. Despite considerable genetic diversity, ST88 was dominant among clinical isolates at the Bugando Medical Centre. Active and standardized surveillance of nosocomial MRSA infection should be conducted in the future to analyse the infection and transmission rates and implement effective control measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / epidemiology*
  • Abscess / microbiology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Exotoxins / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Leukocidins / genetics
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / classification
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Typing*
  • Staphylococcal Protein A / genetics
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / microbiology
  • Tanzania / epidemiology
  • Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Wound Infection / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Exotoxins
  • Leukocidins
  • Panton-Valentine leukocidin
  • Staphylococcal Protein A