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A rapid, high-throughput screening method for carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Hege S. Tunsjø, Unit of Gene Technology, Division of Diagnostics and Technology, Akershus University Hospital, Sykehusvn 27, 1478 Nordbyhagen, Norway. e-mail:


Rapid screening of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization prior to hospital admittance is important to reduce nosocomial infections and health care costs. Molecular detection of mecA and S. aureus specific target genes has become widely established for this purpose. However, there are still limitations in potential for high-throughput screening in the methods described. We have compared the time aspects and workload of four different DNA preparation platforms, resulting in an automated and simple MRSA screening method which combines two liquid handling systems and a simple lysis buffer. We have further transferred our in-house dual real-time PCR to a fast-PCR protocol, reducing the time and labour spent on these samples to a minimum.