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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


MARAIS, E et al. Antimicrobial susceptibility of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2009, vol.99, n.3, pp.170-173. ISSN 2078-5135.

OBJECTIVE: Trends in the antibiotic susceptibility of methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are regularly investigated in many countries, but minimal countrywide data are available for South Africa. The aim of this study was to describe the antibiotic susceptibility patterns of MRSA isolates collected in South Africa. DESIGN: Susceptibility testing of 248 MRSA isolates collected from 15 National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) and 8 private laboratories against 17 antibiotics was performed using the disc diffusion method. Demographic data were collected and correlated with antibiotic resistance patterns. RESULTS: Antibiotic resistance of MRSA to erythromycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin ranged between 55% and 78%, while all isolates were susceptible to teicoplanin, linezolid, vancomycin and quinopristin/dalfopristin. A significant difference in the resistance pattern of the isolates towards certain antimicrobial agents was identified among adults and children, as well as between isolates collected from the private and NHLS laboratories. CONCLUSION: This is the first extensive report on the antimicrobial susceptibilities of South African MRSA isolates. These data can assist treatment decisions and form a baseline for further surveillance.

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