Rapid Identification of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Positive Blood Cultures by Real-Time Fluorescence PCR


American Society for Microbiology


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus septicemia is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and requires treatment with intravenous glycopeptides. For blood cultures positive for gram-positive cocci, 24 to 48 h is required for the detection of S. aureus bacteremia and the provision of antibiotic susceptibility testing results. We describe a molecular biology-based assay that requires 2 h from the time of initial positivity of blood cultures. The assay correctly detected 96% of the S. aureus isolates including all methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates. Clinical data collected during the study suggest that 28% of patients with S. aureus bacteremia do not receive early and appropriate treatment and that 10% of patients may initially be receiving inappropriate glycopeptide treatment.

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