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Prevalence of SCCmec types among Methicillin resistant Coagulase negative Staphylococci isolated from HIV patients in Chennai, South India


Methicillin resistant Coagulase negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) are opportunistic pathogens among HIV-AIDS patients and serve as a large reservoir of Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec) that carries mecA. Very little is known about the prevalent SCCmec types among MRCoNS from HIV patients and its molecular epidemiology. Hence, this study was aimed at determining the distribution of SCCmec elements amongst MRCoNS isolates from HIV infected patients from Chennai, South India.


52 clinically significant MRCoNS isolates from HIV patients were included in this study. Following speciation, isolates were subjected to antibiotic susceptibility testing and screening for methicillin resistance using cefoxitin disc (30µg) and confirmed by mecA gene PCR. The presence of SCCmec types (I - V) was determined using multiplex PCR.


Of the 52 isolates, S. haemolyticus (n =29, 56%) was predominant followed by S. epidermidis (n =13, 25%), S. capitis (n=4, 7%), S. lugdunensis (n =3, 6%) and S. hominis, (n =3, 6%). Highest resistance was shown towards ciprofloxacin (44%) followed by erythromycin (42%) and ofloxacin (39%). SCCmec typing revealed type I (n=26, 50%) to be predominant followed by type V (n=10, 19%), type III (n=7, 14%), type IV (n=4, 7%) and type I & V (n=2, 4%). Three (6%) isolates were nontypeable and type II was absent.


The MRCoNS isolates carried genetically diverse SCCmec elements including types I, V, III, IV and I and V in combination with SCCmec type I being predominant among HIV patients, which may be attributed to majority of patients being hospitalized.

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Correspondence to Padma Krishnan.

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  • Erythromycin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Cefoxitin
  • Methicillin
  • Molecular Epidemiology