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
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- van Hal, S.J., Jennings, Z., Stark, D. et al. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2009) 28: 47. doi:10.1007/s10096-008-0593-4
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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.