Laboratory evaluation of phenotypic detection methods of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Biomed J. 2014 Nov-Dec;37(6):411-4. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.132907.


Although conventional antibiotic susceptibility tests are most commonly performed for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the results of these phenotypic tests are dependent on the standardization of the culture conditions. The aim of the study was to evaluate the conventional phenotypic screening tests in comparison to the mecA gene polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One hundred and two clinical isolates of MRSA identified by the oxacillin disk diffusion were subjected to PCR for the mecA gene and by the cefoxitin disk diffusion test and culture on oxacillin screen agar, mannitol salt agar, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Agar (MeReSA) selective medium, for MRSA. Although all 102 isolates were resistant in oxacillin and cefoxitin disk diffusion, 92 (90.1%) isolates were positive for the mecA gene. The sensitivities of the mannitol salt agar, MeReSA agar, and oxacillin screen agar were 89.13, 97.82, and 98.91%, respectively. The oxacillin screen agar may be recommended for confirming methicillin resistance in the disk diffusion test in resource-poor settings, where molecular methods are not available.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cefoxitin / pharmacology*
  • Culture Media
  • Humans
  • Methicillin / pharmacology*
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / methods
  • Oxacillin / pharmacology*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Culture Media
  • Cefoxitin
  • Methicillin
  • Oxacillin