Folia Microbiologica

, 56:122 | Cite as

Antibiotic resistance and molecular characterization of clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from bacteremic patients in oncohematology

  • O. BouchamiEmail author
  • W. Achour
  • M. A. Mekni
  • J. Rolo
  • A. Ben Hassen


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of antibiotic resistance genes as well as staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of SmaI macrorestriction fragments of genomic DNA were used to characterize 45 methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) isolates responsible of bacteremia recovered in patients at the Bone Marrow Transplant Centre of Tunisia in 1998–2007. Among the 45 MRCoNS isolates, Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most prevalent species (75.6%) followed by Staphylococcus haemolyticus (22.2%) and Staphylococcus hominis (2.2%). Extended susceptibility profiles were generated for MRCoNS against 16 antimicrobial agents. Out of 45 mecA-positive strains, 43 (95.6%) were phenotypically methicillin-resistant and two (4.4%) were methicillin-susceptible. The msr(A) was the most prevalent gene (13 isolates; 48.1%) among erythromycin-resistant isolates. The erm(C) was found alone in seven (25.9%) or in combination with both erm(A) and erm(B) in two (7.4%) isolates. The aac(6′)-Ie-aph(2)-Ia was the most prevalent gene among aminoglycoside-resistant isolates, detected alone in 14 isolates (33.3%) isolates, in combination with ant(4′)-Ia in 18 (42.8%) isolates, in combination with aph(3′)-IIIa in four (9.5%) or with both ant(4′)-Ia and aph(3′)-IIIa in two (4.7%) isolates. The ant(4′)-Ia was detected in three (7.1%) isolates and the aph(3′)-IIIa in one (2.4%) isolate. Among tetracycline-resistant isolates, six (85.7%) strains harbored the tet(K) gene and one (14.3%) strain carried tet(K) and tet(M) genes. SCCmec types IV (31%) and III (24.5%), the most prevalent types detected, were found to be more resistant to non-β-lactam antibiotics. A wide diversity of isolates was observed by PFGE among MRCoNS.


Teicoplanin Methicillin Resistance mecA Gene SCCmec Type CoNS Isolate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Coagulase-negative staphylococci


Central venous catheter


Resistance to macrolides, lincosamides, and streptogramin B (other than erythromycin)


Methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci


Polymerase chain reaction


Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis


Staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec



We would like to thank T. Ito (Japan) and R. Leclercq (France) for kindly providing control strains, included in this study and H. de Lencastre (Portugal) for providing the BioNumerics software.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, v.v.i, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Bouchami
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • W. Achour
    • 1
  • M. A. Mekni
    • 1
  • J. Rolo
    • 2
  • A. Ben Hassen
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory Department, Centre National de Greffe de Moelle OsseuseTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e BiológicaUniversidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB/UNL)OeirasPortugal
  3. 3.Service des laboratoires, Centre National de Greffe de Moelle OsseuseTunisTunisia

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