Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characterisation of MRSA strains isolated from patients in a hospital in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Stefan Monecke12*, Leila Skakni3, Rami Hasan3, Antje Ruppelt1, Sameeh S Ghazal4, Ahmed Hakawi4, Peter Slickers2 and Ralf Ehricht2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany

2 Alere Technologies GmbH, Jena, Germany

3 Molecular Pathology Laboratory, King Fahad Medical City, PO Box 59046, Riyadh, 11525, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

4 Infection Control & Environmental Health Department King Fahad Medical City, PO Box 59046, Riyadh, 11525, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:146  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-146

Published: 23 July 2012



Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is spreading worldwide and poses a serious public health problem, being present in hospital settings and communities. However, from the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula few molecular typing data on MRSA strains are currently available. In order to obtain data on the population structure of MRSA in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 107 clinical and environmental MRSA isolates were genotyped using a microarray-based assay.


Five major MRSA strains from four clonal complexes were identified CC8/ST239-III (20.75%), PVL-positive as well as -negative CC22-IV (18.87% and 9.43%, respectively), PVL-positive CC30-IV (12.26%) and PVL-positive CC80-IV (17.92%). Minor strains, which accounted for less than 3% each, included CC1-IV/SCCfus, PVL-positive CC1/ST772-V, PVL-positive as well as- negative CC5-IV, CC5-IV/SCCfus, CC5-V, CC6-IV, CC45-IV, PVL-negative CC80-IV, PVL-positive CC88-IV, CC97-V and a CC9/ST834-MRSA strain.


Typing of MRSA strains from Riyadh revealed a high diversity of clonal complexes. The prevalence of the genes encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin was surprisingly high (54.21%), and a significant rate of resistance markers was detected also in strains considered as community-associated.

Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA; Panton-Valentine leukocidin; Saudi-Arabia