Rapid Diagnostics for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a significant cause of healthcare- and community-associated infections, and its prevalence continues to increase. These infections are associated with morbidity and excessive mortality compared with infections caused by methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). Numerous studies have cited the increased healthcare costs associated with MRSA infections. Infection control guidelines that combine active surveillance with aggressive patient management, such as patient isolation, decontamination, and other strategies, have been shown to reduce transmission and subsequent infections. The availability of rapid molecular diagnostics has strengthened infection control programs by providing results in hours rather than days, as the time required for culture-based methods. This review summarizes the current status of rapid diagnostic methods available for MRSA detection from nasal surveillance specimens, and assays available for rapid identification of MRSA from positive blood cultures containing Gram-positive cocci in clusters. Both amplification- and probe-based assays are highlighted and discussed in detail. Future technological advances are likely to see real-time assays that combine multiple gene targets for assessment of microbial identification, virulence detection, and mechanisms of resistance beyond mecA.
KeywordsPositive Predictive Value Negative Predictive Value Positive Blood Culture Necrotizing Fasciitis Adenylate Kinase
The author has received research funding from BD GeneOhm, San Diego, California, USA, and Cepheid Diagnostics, Sunnyvale, California, USA.
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