UK epidemic strains of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in clinical samples from Malta

Simon W.J. Gould, Jessica Rollason, Anthony Hilton, Paul Cuschieri, Laura McAuliffe, Susan L. Easmon, Mark D. Fielder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 1999, the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS) has monitored the rise in infection due to a number of organisms, including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The EARSS reported that MRSA infections within intensive care units account for 25-50% of infections in many central and southern European countries, these included France, Spain, Great Britain, Malta, Greece and Italy. Each country has defined epidemic MRSA (EMRSA) strains; however, the method of spread of these strains from one country to another is unknown. In this current study, DNA profiles of 473 isolates of MRSA collected from the UK and Malta were determined by PFGE. Analysis of the data showed that two countries separated by a large geographical distance had a similar DNA profile pattern. Additionally it was demonstrated that strains of EMRSA normally found in the UK were also found in the Maltese cohort (EMRSA 15 and 16). A distinct DNA profile was found in the Maltese cohort, which may be a local EMRSA, and accounted for 14.4% of all Maltese isolates. The appearance of the same MRSA and EMRSA profiles in two separate countries suggests that MRSA can be transferred out of their country of origin and potentially establish in a new locality or country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1398
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System
  • infection
  • meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • MRSA
  • intensive care units
  • France
  • Spain
  • Great Britain
  • Malta
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • spread
  • strains
  • DNA profiles
  • PFGE
  • DNA profile pattern
  • Maltese cohort


Dive into the research topics of 'UK epidemic strains of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in clinical samples from Malta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this