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Molecular Characterization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Spread by Neonates Transferred From Primary Obstetrics Clinics to a Tertiary Care Hospital in Korea

  • Kwan Soo Ko (a1), Sulhee Park (a1), Kyong Ran Peck (a2), Eun Jung Shin (a3), Won Sup Oh (a2), Nam Yong Lee (a4) and Jae-Hoon Song (a1) (a2)...



To investigate the characteristics and origins of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains isolated from neonatal patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital from local and primary care obstetrics clinics.


Molecular typing study.


A 1,278-bed tertiary care hospital (Samsung Medical Center) and 2 primary obstetrics clinics in Seoul, Korea.


The genotypic characteristics of 12 MRSA samples isolated from 11 neonatal patients transferred from 2 primary care obstetrics clinics to a tertiary care hospital were investigated by means of multilocus sequence typing, spa (staphylococcal protein A) typing, and SCCmec typing. Ten MRSA strains isolated from workers and environments in the associated obstetrics clinics were also investigated.


Although the antibiograms of isolates from 2 obstetrics clinics differed, no strain showed multidrug resistance to antimicrobials. Multilocus sequence typing analysis showed that all 22 MRSA isolates analyzed in this study had sequence type 1 (with the allelic profile 1-1-1-1-1-1-1), sequence type 493 (62-1-1-1-1-1-1), or a novel sequence type (25-1-1-1-1-1-1) and that all belonged to a single clonal complex (clonal complex 1). Moreover, they all contained SCCmec type IVA and the identical spa type (UJEBKBP). These genotypic characteristics are similar to those of typical community-associated MRSA strains rather than the hospital-acquired MRSA strains common in Korea.


The findings of this study suggest that community-acquired MRSA strains can spread in primary care clinics and be imported into tertiary care settings.


Corresponding author

Division of Infectious Diseases, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Il-won dong, Kangnam-ku, Seoul 135-710, Korea (


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