Comparison of two commercial PCR methods for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening in a tertiary care hospital

PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e43935. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043935. Epub 2012 Sep 19.


Nose/throat-swabs from 1049 patients were screened for MRSA using CHROMagar MRSA, LightCycler Advanced MRSA, and Detect-Ready MRSA. Results were compared to the CHROMagar MRSA results, which was set as reference system. MRSA was detected in 3.05% of the patients with CHROMagar MRSA. LightCycler MRSA Advanced showed a higher clinical sensitivity (84.38%) than Detect-Ready MRSA (57.69%).The negative predictive values were high for both tests (>98%). The specificity and the positive predictive value were higher for the Detect-Ready MRSA test than for the LightCycler MRSA test (99.59% and 78.95% versus 98.52% and 64.29%). For routine screening LightCycler MRSA Advanced proved to be more efficient in our clinical setting as the clinical sensitivity was much higher than the sensitivity of Detect-Ready MRSA. CHROMagar MRSA detected more MRSA positive samples than both PCR methods, leading to the conclusion that the combination of PCR with cultural screening is still the most reliable way for the detection of MRSA. LightCycler MRSA Advanced was faster and needed less hands-on time. The advantage of Detect-Ready MRSA was the additional identification of methicillin-sensitive S.aureus (here in 34.63% of the samples), an information which can be possibly used for reducing the risk of postoperative infections in surgical patients in future.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Tertiary Care Centers*


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.