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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is spreading worldwide and poses a serious public health problem, being present in hospital settings and communities. However, from the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula few molecular typing data on MRSA strains are currently available. In order to obtain data on the population structure of MRSA in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 107 clinical and environmental MRSA isolates were genotyped using a microarray-based assay.
Five major MRSA strains from four clonal complexes were identified CC8/ST239-III (20.75%), PVL-positive as well as -negative CC22-IV (18.87% and 9.43%, respectively), PVL-positive CC30-IV (12.26%) and PVL-positive CC80-IV (17.92%). Minor strains, which accounted for less than 3% each, included CC1-IV/SCCfus, PVL-positive CC1/ST772-V, PVL-positive as well as- negative CC5-IV, CC5-IV/SCCfus, CC5-V, CC6-IV, CC45-IV, PVL-negative CC80-IV, PVL-positive CC88-IV, CC97-V and a CC9/ST834-MRSA strain.
Typing of MRSA strains from Riyadh revealed a high diversity of clonal complexes. The prevalence of the genes encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin was surprisingly high (54.21%), and a significant rate of resistance markers was detected also in strains considered as community-associated.