Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Prevalence and characterization of human mecC methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates in England

Paterson, G. K.; Morgan, F. J. E.; Harrison, E. M.; Cartwright, E. J. P.; Török, M. E.; Zadoks, R. N.; Parkhill, J.; Peacock, S. J.; Holmes, M. A.


G. K. Paterson

F. J. E. Morgan

E. M. Harrison

E. J. P. Cartwright

M. E. Török

R. N. Zadoks

J. Parkhill

S. J. Peacock

M. A. Holmes


Objectives There are limited data available on the epidemiology and prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the human population that encode the recently described mecA homologue, mecC. To address this knowledge gap we undertook a prospective prevalence study in England to determine the prevalence of mecC among MRSA isolates. Patients and methods Three hundred and thirty-five sequential MRSA isolates from individual patients were collected from each of six clinical microbiology laboratories in England during 2011–12. These were tested by PCR or genome sequencing to differentiate those encoding mecA and mecC. mecC-positive isolates were further characterized by multilocus sequence typing, spa typing, antimicrobial susceptibility profile and detection of PBP2a using commercially available kits. Results Nine out of the 2010 MRSA isolates tested were mecC positive, indicating a prevalence among MRSA in England of 0.45% (95% CI 0.24%–0.85%). The remainder were mecA positive. Eight out of these nine mecC MRSA isolates belonged to clonal complex 130, the other being sequence type 425. Resistance to non-β-lactam antibiotics was rare among these mecC MRSA isolates and all were phenotypically identified as MRSA using oxacillin and cefoxitin according to BSAC disc diffusion methodology. However, all nine mecC isolates gave a negative result using three different commercial PBP2a detection assays. Conclusions mecC MRSA are currently rare among MRSA isolated from humans in England and this study provides an important baseline prevalence rate to monitor future changes, which may be important given the increasing prevalence of mecC MRSA reported in Denmark.


Paterson, G. K., Morgan, F. J. E., Harrison, E. M., Cartwright, E. J. P., Török, M. E., Zadoks, R. N., …Holmes, M. A. (2014). Prevalence and characterization of human mecC methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates in England. The journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 69(4), 907-910.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 26, 2013
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2013
Publication Date Apr 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 12, 2015
Journal Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy
Print ISSN 0305-7453
Electronic ISSN 1460-2091
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 4
Pages 907-910
Keywords MRSA; Mec genes; Staphylococcus aureus; Surveillance
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article originally published: Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy, 2014, v.69, issue 4


Article (121 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© The Authors 2013. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations