Thermo Scientific Test Helps in Battle Against MRSA

Thermo Scientific PBP2 test

Recent news reports describe the latest strategies and developments adopted by the NHS and drug companies in the ongoing fight against methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (refs1,2). As these and other measures are considered, the Thermo Scientific PBP2' Test is able to enhance treatment and infection control efforts by allowing MRSA to be detected a day earlier than traditional antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST).

The recently launched 'matron's charter' puts senior nurses in charge of hospital hygiene and Health Secretary, John Reid, announced that hygiene issues and hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA, would be the top priority for England's new Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Beasley (ref 1).

In addition, drug companies continue to explore treatment options that will be effective against these resistant organisms. One group in the UK are in the early stages of investigating a way to make MRSA strains vulnerable to the antibiotics it normally resists (ref 2).

Early detection of methicillin resistance in S. aureus isolates is extremely important if subsequent actions (such as isolation, infection control and directed therapy) are to be effective. Requiring minimal labour and no expensive or complicated equipment, the Thermo Scientific PBP2' Test is much quicker and easier to perform than genotypic tests, such as PCR, and yields clearly visible results within minutes - a day in advance of AST results.

The Thermo Scientific PBP2' test is a rapid latex agglutination test and has demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity in evaluations around the world (refs 3-6). It conforms to both the EARSS (European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System) guidelines for confirmation of non-susceptible S aureus isolates (ref 7) and the NCCLS guidelines for the detection of oxacillin resistance (M100-S14/M2-A8).

1. BBC News, 20 October 2004
2. BBC News, 13 October 2004
3. Van Griethuysen, A., Pouw, M., van Leeuwen, N et al (1999) J Clin Microbiol 37(9):2789-2792.
4. Hussain, Z, Stoakes, L and Garrow, S et al (2000) J Clin Microbiol 38: 2051-2054.
5. Louie, L, Matsumara, S O and Choi, E et al (2000) J Clin Microbiol 38:2170-2173.
6. Yamazumi, T, Marshall, S A and Wilke, W W et al (2001) J Clin Microbiol 39:53-56.
7. EARSS Protocol for the testing of Staphylococcus aureus to determine the proportion resistant to methicillin in blood isolates (2004)

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Posted on November 10, 2004