Molecular characterization of Staphylococcus aureus isolates causing skin and soft tissue infections in patients from Malakand, Pakistan

  • S. Madzgalla
  • M. A. Syed
  • M. A. Khan
  • S. S. Rehman
  • E. Müller
  • A. Reissig
  • R. Ehricht
  • S. Monecke
Original Article


Comparatively few studies have been published describing Staphylococcus aureus/MRSA epidemiology in Central Asia including Pakistan. Here, we report the genotyping of Staphylococcus aureus strains (that include both methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) from community- and hospital-acquired skin and soft-tissue infections in a tertiary care hospital in the Malakand district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. Forty-five isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were characterized by microarray hybridization. Twenty isolates (44 %) were MRSA, whereas 22 (49 %) were PVL-positive. Fourteen isolates (31 %) harboured both mecA and PVL genes. The dominant clones were CC121-MSSA (n = 15, 33 %) and the PVL-positive “Bengal Bay Clone” (ST772-MRSA-V; n = 13, 29 %). The PVL-positive CC8-MRSA-IV strain “USA300” was found once. The pandemic ST239-MRSA-III strain was absent, although it has previously been observed in Pakistan. These observations require a re-assessment of schemes for initial antibiotic therapy to cover MRSA and they emphasise the need for a rapid and non-molecular test for PVL.


Columbia Blood Agar Exfoliative Toxin Capsule Type Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Columbia Blood Agar Plate 
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The authors thank the Vice Chancellor’s Office of the University of Haripur (Pakistan) for supporting this work. We also acknowledge Ines Engelmann (Alere Technologies, Jena, Germany) for technical help.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Sara Madzgalla, Elke Müller, Annett Reissig, Ralf Ehricht and Stefan Monecke are employees of Alere Technologies, Jena, Germany, the company that manufactures the microarrays used for this study.

Funding information

There was no external funding for this work. Each of the participating institutions covered the costs of experiments performed in the respective institutions, and granted the time needed to perform this study.

Informed consent and ethical approval

Informed written consent was taken from each patient and the study was approved by the institutional ethics committee.

Supplementary material

10096_2016_2695_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (236 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 235 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Madzgalla
    • 1
    • 4
  • M. A. Syed
    • 2
  • M. A. Khan
    • 2
  • S. S. Rehman
    • 2
  • E. Müller
    • 1
    • 4
  • A. Reissig
    • 1
    • 4
  • R. Ehricht
    • 1
    • 4
  • S. Monecke
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Alere Technologies GmbHJenaGermany
  2. 2.Infectious Diseases Research Group, Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of HaripurHaripurPakistan
  3. 3.Institute for Medical Microbiology and HygieneTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  4. 4.InfectoGnostics Research CampusJenaGermany

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