Two hundred and eighty six Staphylococcus aureus isolates were collected from separate places of the holy shrine in Najaf city, Iraq. Phenotypic and genotypic examination for community associated methicillin resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) isolates was carried out. Antibiotic and plasmid profiles of these isolates were also done. The CA-MRSA isolates were examined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers for Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) gene. 54 (18.8%) of all of the S. aureus examined were identified as community associated methicillin resistant S. aureus, of which 11 isolates were CA-MRSA. CA-MRSA isolates were examined and subdivided into two groups according to their antibiotic profiles. Eight of the 11 MDR CA-MRSA isolates were alike in their plasmid profiles. Results of PCR revealed that 3 (27.2%) of CA-MRSA isolates carried PVL genes and 9 (72.8%) carried none. The study also revealed that CA-MRSA isolates were resistant to all ß-lactam and many of the non ß-lactam antibiotics and the frequency of resistance was higher among CA-MRSA isolates than methicillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), with low ratio of carrying PVL gene among CA-MRSA isolates. Surveillance and researches on CA-MRSA that carry PVL gene should continue to provide a significant insight into the prevalence and epidemiology of these important resistant pathogens.
Key words: Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, community associated methicillin resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA), Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes, Iraq.
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