, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 723-727,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Jul 2007

Spread of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST80 strain in the community of the northern Netherlands


Infections caused by community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are emerging as a major public health problem. In this study, we describe the distribution of 54 Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL)-carrying MRSA isolates in the northern Netherlands between 1998 and 2005, of which 43 (80%) consisted of the European PVL-positive strain multi locus sequence type 80 with staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IVc (ST80). Individual cases and small clusters of ST80 predominated in the community (74%), but ST80 was also found in nursing homes (16%) and hospitals (9%). Long-term carriership (months to years) and reinfection of patients with ST80 has probably led to the strain spreading in the community and subsequently to further migration to health care environments.