Staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) and arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) in Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from prosthetic joint infections

  • B. Hellmark
  • C. Berglund
  • Å. Nilsdotter-Augustinsson
  • M. Unemo
  • B. Söderquist


The aim of the present study was to characterise the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) in Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) and, if possible, assign them to any of the presently known SCCmec types. In addition, the isolates were examined for the presence of the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME). Sixty-one S. epidermidis isolates obtained from PJIs and 24 commensal S. epidermidis isolates were analysed. The mecA gene was detected in 49 of the 61 (80 %) PJI isolates and in four of the 24 (17 %) commensal isolates, and the composition of the SCCmec was further analysed. SCCmec types I and IV were the most common types among the PJI isolates. However, for over half (57 %) of the isolates, it was not possible to assign an SCCmec type. ACME was detected in eight (13 %) of the PJI isolates and in 14 (58 %) of the commensal isolates. The characterisation of the SCCmec elements revealed a large heterogeneity, with a high frequency of isolates carrying more than one type of the ccr gene complex. ACME was more common among the commensal isolates and may represent a survival benefit for S. epidermidis colonising healthy individuals in the community.


Prosthetic Joint Infection mecA Gene SCCmec Type Antibiotic Susceptibility Pattern Staphylococcal Species 
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This study was supported by grants from the Örebro County Council Research Committee, the County Council of Östergötland and the Faculty of Health Sciences of Linköping University, Sweden.

Conflict of interest

B. Söderquist has been a consultant for Pfizer and Janssen-Cilag. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Hellmark
    • 1
  • C. Berglund
    • 2
  • Å. Nilsdotter-Augustinsson
    • 3
  • M. Unemo
    • 1
  • B. Söderquist
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical MicrobiologyÖrebro University HospitalÖrebroSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Microbiology and ChemistryAleris MEDILABTäbySweden
  3. 3.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of LinköpingLinköpingSweden
  4. 4.Department of Infectious DiseasesÖrebro University HospitalÖrebroSweden
  5. 5.Faculty of Medicine and HealthÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden

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