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The need for rapid methods to accurately detect methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is widely acknowledged, and a number of molecular assays are commercially available. This study evaluated the Xpert MRSA assay, which is run on the GeneXpert real-time PCR platform (Cepheid) for use in a clinical laboratory. The following parameters were investigated: (i) the limits of detection (LoDs) for four MRSA strains; (ii) the ability to detect isolates of MRSA from a collection representative of MRSA in Ireland since 1974 (n 114) and the ability to detect control strains with staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec types IVa (IV.1.1.1), IVb (IV.2.1.1), IVc (IV.3.1.1), IVd (IV.4.1.1), V (V.1.1.1), VT, and VI; and (iii) performance in a clinical trial with swabs from nose, throat, and groin/perineum sites from 204 patients, where results were compared with those obtained by direct and enrichment cultures. The average LoD of the four test strains was 610 CFU/ml (equivalent to 58 CFU/swab). All 114 MRSA isolates and 7 control strains tested were detected. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for clinical specimens from all sites investigated were 90%, 97%, 86%, and 98%, respectively, but throat specimens yielded poor sensitivity (75%). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for nasal specimens were 95%, 98%, 90%, and 99%, respectively. Overall, the assay was rapid and easy to perform, but performance might be enhanced by the inclusion of an equivocal interpretive category based on analysis of all available amplification data.
Herra, C. M. (2008) Evaluation of the Xpert methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) assay using the GeneXpert real-time PCR platform for rapid detection of MRSA from screening specimens. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY, Oct. 2008, p. 3285–3290. doi:10.1128/JCM.02487-07