Staphylococcus aureus toxins represent a public health challenge all over the world. This study aims to analyze the prevalence of genes encoding the staphylococcal leukocidins and their correlation with antimicrobial susceptibility and the source of isolation. For this purpose, the susceptibility of 75 S. aureus isolates to 12 antimicrobial agents was investigated. The leukocidins genes (lukD, lukE, lukF and lukS) were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The ability to express these genes was assessed among 20 isolates by RT-PCR. The most prevalent luk genes were lukF gene (73.3%), followed by lukE (64%), lukD (44%) and lukS (34.7%). Expression of lukD, lukE and lukS genes were variable. lukF gene was not expressed by any of the tested isolates. A statistically significant association was found between lukF occurrence and burn isolates. Besides that, lukF gene was more prevalent among amoxicillin-clavulenic acid and amikacin resistant isolates, while lukE was predominant with gentamicin resistant isolates. High expression level of lukD was found in MRSA and MDR isolates.
Key words: Staphylococcus aureus, leukocidins, antimicrobial sensitivity.
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