Spread of a methicillin-resistant and multiresistant epidemic clone of Staphylococcus aureus in Argentina

Microb Drug Resist. Winter 1998;4(4):277-88. doi: 10.1089/mdr.1998.4.277.


One hundred forty-eight recent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates collected from 13 hospitals in Argentina were examined for antibiotic susceptibility and clonal type, using hybridization with DNA probes specific for mecA and Tn554, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of chromosomal SmaI digests. The majority of the isolates (62.2%) shared the common PFGE B pattern and carried variants of mecA and Tn554 polymorphs characteristic of an MRSA clone widely spread in Brazilian hospitals. Similarly to the Brazilian isolates, the MRSA clone recovered in the Argentinian hospitals (XI::B::B) and its close relatives (XI::B'::B, XI::AA::B, XI::M::B, XI::omega omega::B, and III::W::B) showed susceptibility to spectinomycin and resistance to numerous antibacterial agents, including beta-lactams, tetracycline, aminoglycosides, macrolides, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, and fosfomycin, and more than 60% of the isolates were also resistant to chloramphenicol and rifampin. The XI::B::B MRSA clone represented the majority of isolates recovered in most of the hospitals, nine of which were located in the city of Buenos Aires, three in the province of Buenos Aires, and one in the province of Tucumán, 1,312 km northwest of the city of Buenos Aires. The observations document further geographic expansion of this South American MRSA clone across national boundaries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • DNA Probes
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Electrophoresis
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Probes