Changing epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Canada

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013 May;68 Suppl 1:i47-55. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt026.


Objectives: To compare the demographics, antimicrobial susceptibilities and molecular epidemiology of community-associated (CA) and healthcare-associated (HA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Canada.

Methods: Between 2007 and 2011, 1266 MRSA were collected from inpatients and outpatients attending tertiary-care medical centres across Canada. Susceptibility testing was performed using broth microdilution and isolates were characterized by spa typing and PCR to detect the Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) gene. Detection of heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus (hVISA) was performed using the Etest macromethod and confirmed by population analysis profiling.

Results: The annual proportion of S. aureus that were methicillin resistant decreased from 26.1% in 2007 to 19.3% in 2011 (P= 0.0002). Of 1266 MRSA isolated, 366 (28.9%) were CA-MRSA genotypes and 868 (68.6%) were HA-MRSA genotypes. The proportion of MRSA represented by CA-MRSA genotypes increased from 19.7% to 36.4% between 2007 and 2011 (P < 0.0001). CMRSA10 (USA300) was the predominant CA-MRSA genotype (22.1%); the most common HA-MRSA genotype was CMRSA2 (USA100/800) (58.1%). PVL was detected in 328/366 (89.6%) of CA-MRSA genotypes and 6/868 (0.7%) of HA-MRSA genotypes. The hVISA phenotype was detected in 7/27 (25.9%) of MRSA with a vancomycin MIC of 2 mg/L.

Conclusions: The most frequent CA-MRSA genotype was CMRSA10 (USA300), while CMRSA2 (USA100/800) was the predominant HA-MRSA genotype. Despite a decrease in the numbers of MRSA, the proportion of CMRSA10 (USA300) CA-MRSA has risen significantly between 2007 and 2011 in Canada.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Typing
  • Phenotype
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / history
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents