First report of mecC gene in clinical methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) from tertiary care hospital Islamabad, Pakistan

Amir Afzal Khan, Asad Ali, Nagendran Tharmalingam, Eleftherios Mylonakis, Rabaab Zahra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is one of the leading causes of community and hospital acquired infections globally. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence, study the carriage of antibiotic resistance genes and evaluate the molecular typing of S. aureus isolates from a tertiary care hospital in Islamabad. Methods: A total of 1528 staphylococci isolates were included in this study. Standard microbiological procedures were applied to identify S. aureus. Antimicrobial susceptability was evaluated using the disk diffusion method and Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) were determined using microbroth dilution method following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines. Multiplex PCR was used to detect antibiotic resistance genes, and molecular typing was performed using agr, SCCmec, spa, and Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) and clonal relatedness by Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) methods. Results: Overall 65% were MRSA and 35% were methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). Among MRSA isolates, 83% were multi-drug resistant and mecA was found in 54% isolates, mecC was in 3% while 1 MRSA carried both mecA and mecC genes. agrI (22%) was most prevalent group in MRSA, while agrIII (16%) was observed in MSSA. SCCmec types I, II, III, IV, and VI were detected, with high prevalence of type III while type V was absent. The prevelant spa type in MRSA was t657 with SCCmecIII elelments while in MSSA it was t021. One NEW spa type identified in MSSA isolates. In a subset of isolates, ST772 with SCCmecIV, ST1 carrying PVL marker, and ST1535 was reported first time from Pakistan. Conclusions: The study presents a comprehensive analysis of prevalent S. aureus types and their antibiotic resistance profiles. It also reports for the first time SCCmec type VI and clinical MRSA isolates with mecC alone and in combination with mecA from Islamabad, Pakistan. This calls for further detailed investigations in other hospital settings in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1501-1507
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection and Public Health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • MLST
  • PVL
  • SCCmec
  • ST
  • Spa
  • mecC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'First report of mecC gene in clinical methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) from tertiary care hospital Islamabad, Pakistan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this