Article

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 47-53

MRSA detection: comparison of two molecular methods (BD GeneOhm® PCR assay and Easy-Plex) with two selective MRSA agars (MRSA-ID and Oxoid MRSA) for nasal swabs

  • S. J. van HalAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, St.Vincent’s Hospital Email author 
  • , Z. JenningsAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, St.Vincent’s Hospital
  • , D. StarkAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, St.Vincent’s Hospital
  • , D. MarriottAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, St.Vincent’s Hospital
  • , J. HarknessAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, St.Vincent’s Hospital

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Abstract

Screening of patients is an important component for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) containment. The aim of this study was to determine the utility of molecular methods compared to selective agars for MRSA detection. Consecutive high risk patients (n = 200) were screened for nasal MRSA colonization using chromogenic selective agars (MRSA ID and CMRSA) as well as the BD GeneOhm MRSA (previously known as IDI-MRSA) and the Easy-Plex commercial real time PCR assays. The sensitivities of the molecular methods were similar to the BD GeneOhm MRSA (86%) and Easy-Plex (84%). The chromogenic agars, MRSA ID and CMRSA, showed sensitivities of 62% and 84%, respectively. Sensitivity was influenced by both the MRSA antibiograms and MRSA clonal type. The specificity was >98% in all methods except for the Easy-Plex assay (90%). Sensitivity of selective agars increased with 48 hours of incubation with a corresponding decrease in specificity. In conclusion, molecular detection methods for MRSA remain sensitive and rapid but are associated with greater expense.