Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics and is one of the most frequent causes of antibiotic resistant infections worldwide. It’s estimated that in the European Union alone annually more than 150,000 patients are infected with MRSA.
MRSA infections can be serious and cause sepsis, pneumonia, organ damage and scarring due to necessary surgery. MRSA is especially troublesome in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities where immunocompromised patients with open wounds or invasive devices are at great risk of nosocomial infections. MRSA mediated pneumonia and sepsis have high death rates. And, because of the use of antibiotics to treat the infection, MRSA patients have the risk to get a secondary infection with C. difficile which they may not survive.
A part of MRSA strains produces a phenol-soluble moduline (PSM-mec) which is a staphylococcal toxin.
This coupling of a toxin with antibiotic resistance genes allows a simultaneous species identification and MRSA positivity warning by detection of a PSM-mec specific signal in mass spectra. Prerequisite for the detection is the successful identification of Staph. aureus in the MBT identification workflow. The MBT Subtyping Module looks then automatically for detection of the PSM-mec peak.