Biologia, Bratislava, 56/Suppl. 9: 37-42, 2001.

ISSN 0006-3088 (Biologia). ISSN 1335-6399 (Biologia. Section Cellular and Molecular Biology).


Full Paper

Methicillin-resistant staphylococci in patients with skin and wound infections.


Livia Slobodnikova1*, Daniela Kotulova1, Lubica Klokocnikova1, Andrea Longauerova1, Ivana Svantnerova2 & Helena Bujdakova2

1Institute of Microbiology, Medical Faculty and Faculty Hospital, Comenius University, Sasinkova 4, SK- 81108 Bratislava, Slovakia; tel.: ++ 421 7 59357 207, fax: ++421 7 59357 583, e-mail:

2Department of Microbiology and Virology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynska dolina B-2, SK-84215 Bratislava, Slovakia

* corresponding author

Received: December 13, 2000 / Accepted: April 23, 2001



Emergence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) in Europe during the last decades attracted our interest in the study of MRS occurrence in the samples of patients with skin and wound infections hospitalised in the Faculty Hospital in Bratislava. In the period from July 1998 to October 1999, samples collected from the site of infection were processed and cultivated according to the standard microbiological procedures. Isolated and identified staphylococci were tested for susceptibility to oxacillin and to other antimicrobials by the standardised disk diffusion method. Mueller-Hinton agar screening plates containing oxacillin (6 mg.L-1) were also used to detect oxacillin/methicillin-resistant staphylococci. The expression of penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) by latex agglutination test and the detection of the mecA gene by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were studied in the strains resistant to oxacillin in the disk-diffusion test. In the period of study, 146 strains of S. aureus and 73 strains of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) were isolated. Nine strains (6.2%) of S. aureus were resistant to oxacillin in the disk-diffusion test. Four strains (2.7%) were PBP2a and mecA gene positive. In the group of 73 coagulase-negative staphylococcal strains, 32 (43.8%) were resistant to oxacillin when tested by the disk-diffusion test, and 25 (34.2%) were positive for PBP2a and mecA gene. Resistance to the other tested antimicrobial drugs was higher in the group of MRS. However, all strains were susceptible to vancomycin. The number of methicillin-resistant S. aureus strains isolated from patients hospitalised in the monitored hospital during the period of study was relatively small; a higher proportion of MRS was found in the group of CoNS. However, permanent monitoring of MRS at the hospital level and at the hospital departments level is important from the epidemiological point of view in order to help preventing nosocomial infections caused by these strains.


Key words: methicillin resistance, Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, skin infections, wound infections, PBP2a, mecA gene.