Presence of arginine catabolic mobile element among community-acquired meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is linked to a specific genetic background


Bo Söderquist, Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Microbiology, and Infectious Diseases, Örebro University Hospital, Örebro SE-70185, Sweden. e-mail:


The prevalence of arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) among diverse and heterogeneous community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus community-associated Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) (n = 114) in a low-endemic area, i.e. Sweden, was investigated. Among the CA-MRSA, represented by 47 different spa types, ACME was only found in 10 isolates with a common genetic background [t008, SCCmec type IV, Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) positive, and indistinguishable or closely related pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)-patterns] corresponding to USA300. This strain does not seem to be established in our area as most of the patients contracted the CA-MRSA abroad. Presence of ACME does not seem to be associated with colonization, long-term carriership, or intra-familiar transmission in a higher extent than CA-MRSA in general.