The emergence and spread of multiresistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains, especially those resistant to fusidic acid and rifampicin, in Malaysian hospitals is of concern. In this study DNA fingerprinting by PFGE was performed on fusidic acid- and rifampicin-resistant isolates from Malaysian hospitals to determine the genetic relatedness of these isolates and their relationship with the endemic MRSA strains. In all, 32 of 640 MRSA isolates from 9 Malaysian hospitals were resistant to fusidic acid and rifampicin. Seven PFGE types (A, ZC, ZI, ZJ, ZK, ZL and ZM) were observed. The commonest type was type ZC, seen in 72% of isolates followed by type A, seen in 13%. Each of the other types (ZI, ZJ, ZK, ZL and ZM) was observed in a single isolate. Each type, even the commonest, was found in only one hospital. This suggests that the resistant strains had arisen from individual MRSA strains in each hospital and not as a result of the transmission of a common clone.
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