In 1996 a new epidemic MRSA emerged in three hospitals North of Berlin. Thi
s strain, Barnim epidemic MRSA, was isolated in 15 hospitals in Northern Ge
rmany in 1997 and 29 hospitals through out Germany in 1998.
Isolates of this clone are non-typeable by phages, its resistance phenotype
is PEN, OXA, ERY, CLI, CIP (genotype: mecA, ermC, mutations in grlA and gy
The Sma I macrorestriction pattern corresponds to particular phage group II
strains which is confirmed by the 16S-23S rRNA gene spacer pattern. Isolat
es of this clone differ by less than three Sma I macrorestriction fragments
from isolates of the EMRSA15 clone from the United Kingdom, the most commo
n epidemic MRSA isolates in the United Kingdom in recent years.
Both epidemic strains produce enterotoxin C and possess the sec determinant
for this toxin, the configuration of the mec regulon is mecI(-), mecRB(+),
mecRC(+). Both share the same Alu I pattern of PCR amplimers of the 3 ' en
d region of the coagulase gene.
EMRSA 15 and Barnim EMRSA share a common multilocus sequence type indicatin
g a recent, shared evolutionary origin.