Implications of Oxacillin-Resistant, mecA-Negative Staphylococcus aureus Detected in NICU MRSA Surveillance Cultures

Geoffrey Ikpeama, Crystal Squires, Meghan Wallace, Patricia Kieffer, Ericka Hayes, Eric Ransom, Carey-Ann Burnham, Patrick Reich
2020 Infection control and hospital epidemiology  
Weekly surveillance to identify neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) nasal colonization was performed using Remel Spectra MRSA chromogenic media. An increased MRSA colonization rate from baseline was detected in 2019, prompting additional review of all positive MRSA NICU screening cultures from 2019. Methods: A subset of 23 positive cultures were interrogated in detail. Species-level identification was confirmed using matrix-assisted laser
more » ... assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) with a Bruker Biotyper. Penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) testing was performed using the Alere culture colony test, and cefoxitin and oxacillin susceptibility were assessed via Kirby-Bauer disk-diffusion methods (for the purpose of this analysis, oxacillin zone sizes 18 mm were considered susceptible). Molecular detection of mecA and mecC genes using PCR was performed. Results: All 23 isolates in the subset group were confirmed as S. aureus based on MALDI-TOF testing. Moreover, 8 isolates (35%) were confirmed as MRSA based on cefoxitin susceptibility, positive rapid PBP2a testing, and mecA PCR results. Overall, 15 isolates (65%) tested cefoxitin-susceptible and PBP2a negative with negative mecA and mecC gene testing. Of these, 1 (7%) tested oxacillin-susceptible based on disk-diffusion testing, consistent with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). The remaining 14 isolates (93%) tested oxacillin resistant based on oxacillin zone size. Conclusions: Our findings indicate the detection of mecA/mecC negative S. aureus isolates demonstrating oxacillin resistance and growth on Remel Spectra MRSA chromogenic media. These results have important implications for infection prevention surveillance efforts to detect MRSA and raise questions regarding optimal antibiotic therapy in patients with isolates displaying this phenotype.Funding: NoneDisclosures: None
doi:10.1017/ice.2020.855 fatcat:lz3xxet27farhbj3hqqzj3a7ha