Balkan Medical Journal
Original Articles

Early Detection and Control of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus Outbreak in an Intensive Care Unit


Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Health Sciences Şişli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey


REDPROM Ctr., Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, Turkey


Microbiology Reference Laboratories, Public Health Agency of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey

Balkan Medical Journal 2021; 38: 23-28
DOI: 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2020.2020.2.153
Read: 151 Downloads: 56 Published: 12 January 2021

Background: Although Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the major pathogens of healthcare associated infections, we had only sporadic cases in our intensive care unit (ICU) for years.

Aims: To investigate the sudden increase in the number of MRSA cases in ICU.

Study design: Descriptive study.

Methods: From the 5th December 2016 to 26th January 2017, we detected 11 new MRSA cases in ICU. Screening of 73 ICU healthcare workers (HCWs) and screening of 13 patients was performed for outbreak investigation. Nine clinical isolates available in stocks and eight screening MRSA isolates were included in molecular studies. PFGE, spa-mecA-mecC-PVL in-house multiplex PCR assay and spa typing, SCCmec typing were performed for all isolates. Sequence type of the representative strain was determined by Multi-Locus Sequence typing (MLST).

Results: All strains were mecA positive, PVL negative, and have the same antimicrobial susceptibility pattern except for two strains. All clinical, two patient screening and three nasal isolates of HCWs showed the same pulsotype, named clone A. The spa type of outbreak isolates is t030 and the SCCmec type is SCCmecIII; the MLST type of representative strain is ST239 (PFGE pulsotype A, ST239-SCCmecIII-t030). Unrelated three isolates had PFGE pulsotype B-SCCmecI-t030, PFGE pulsotype C-SCCmecIII-t459, PFGE pulsotype D-SCCmecIII.

Conclusion: Molecular typing techniques are the cornerstones for the investigation of outbreaks. Infection control measures, such as enhancing cleaning procedures, promoting hand hygiene, should be enforced in the ICU unit. All patients, including those who have already been discharged to other departments, must be put on contact isolation.  HCWs carrying the MRSA strains could be offered decolonization.

Cite this article as: Bayraktar B, Gündüz A, Oryaşın E, Erdemir D, Teke L, Aktaş E, et al. Early Detection and Control of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus Outbreak in an Intensive Care Unit. Balkan Med J 2021;38:23-8

ISSN 2146-3123 EISSN 2146-3131