The prevalence of natural carriage and molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (MR-CoNS) isolates in a Jordanian community were investigated. The MRSA nasal carriage rate in 227 healthy volunteers was 7·5% and the majority (81%) of MRSA harboured the resistance element SCCmec type IVe and were of a novel spa type t9519 (76%); other significant spa gene types were t223 (14·7%) and t044 (5·9%). All MRSA isolates were susceptible to other classes of antibiotics, and tested positive for at least three virulence factor encoding genes, but only two harboured the pvl gene. MR-CoNS carriage was 54·2% and these isolates were characterized by single, double and untypable SCCmec elements, with Staphylococcus epidermidis SCCmec type IVa predominating. Of eight subjects with nasal co-colonization of MR-CoNS + MRSA, three shared SCCmec type IV in both groups of organisms. This is the first report of methicillin-resistant staphylococci carriage in a Jordanian community and its findings are important for epidemiological study and infection control measures of these organisms.
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