It was aimed to determine the carriage rate of Staphylococcus aureus and the occurrence of methicillin resistance, slime and adhesin genes in staphylococcal strains isolated from the nasal cavities of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The presence of mecA and femA, and the genes implicated in adhesion were determined by multiplex PCR in all strains. The femA gene was detected in 46.6% of 105 MS patients. While 18.1% of isolates carried the mecA gene, 81.9% of isolates were negative for the mecA gene. The presence of icaA/icaD genes was determined in a total of 84.8% of all strains. While 85.7% of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates were positive in terms of slime genes, this ratio was determined as 81.6% among the Staphylococcus aureus strains. The occurrence of clfA gene was determined in 29 of 49 (59.2%) S. aureus isolates. Also, 45 out of 49 (91.8%) S. aureus was found to carry the fnbA gene. The carriage rate of thecna gene was determined in 40 (81.6%) isolates among the 49 S. aureus strains. The rate of methicillin resistance gene, slime production and the frequency of adhesin genes in MS patients were also significantly higher than the healthy control population. Determination of the nasal S. aureus carriers and the virulence of these strains will be important for prediction of the MS prognosis in these patients. And treating these S.aureus carriers will be very useful in preventing MS relapses.
Key words: Multiple sclerosis, Staphylococcus aureus, nasal carriage, methicillin resistance, adhesins, slime.
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