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Controlling the Spread of Healthcare Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Requires Active Surveillance

uffer, and after additional processing, an aliquot of the specimen is added to PCR reagents containing MRSA specific primers. PCR and detection of MRSA amplicons are performed on the Smart Cycler instrument. Processing to detection requires about 1.5 hours. Clinical studies by the manufacturer and an independent investigator report similar sensitivities and specificities of about 92% and 95% respectively, when compared to reference culture techniques.

BacLite MRSA (in development at Acolyte Biomedica Ltd), utilizes culture in a selective broth, followed by bioluminescent detection. Bacteria from nasal swabs are incubated for 3 hours in methicillin-containing broth. Staphylococcus aureus-specific magnetic beads are used to capture intact MRSA, and after a wash step, the MRSA are detected by adenylate kinase bioluminescence. The assay can be completed in less than 5 hours. To date sensitivity and specificity from clinical studies have not been reported.

- Helen Londe, MD
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