Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics of Mupirocin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2011 March, Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 18-23.

Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics of Mupirocin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

A-jin Lee, Hun-Suk Suh, Chang-Ho Jeon, Sang-Gyung Kim

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea


Background: Nasal colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a known risk factor for nosocomialtransmission and infection. In an effort to mitigate this problem, topical mupirocin has been widely used for clearing nasal carriage of MRSA. However, mupirocin resistance has become a world- wide concern due to increased use of the antibiotic. The aims of this study were to evaluate the clinical characteristics and prevalence of mupirocin resistance among clinical isolates of staphylococci and to investigate antimicrobial susceptibility. 

Methods: A total of 175 S. aureus specimens recovered over a 4-month period from various body sites were tested for resistance to mupirocin and other antibiotics using the Vitek2 automated system. The presence of the mupA gene was assessed in isolates exhibiting resistance to mupirocin and in other selected organisms. The clinical characteristics of the isolates were also reviewed. 

Results: Of the 175 S. aureus isolates, 9.1% (16/175) were resistant to mupirocin, with 1.7% (3/175) having high-level resistance (HR) and 7.4% (13/175) having low-level resistance (LR). Patients with HR-mupirocin- resistant S. aureus had a longer duration of hospitalization (P=0.026). Of the 13 LR-mupirocin-resistant S. aureus strains, 11 had identical antibiogram patterns. The mupA gene was detected only among HR isolates. 

Conclusion: The rate of mupirocin resistance in the S. aureus isolates was high. The spread of mupirocin- resistant S. aureus may be due to nosocomial infection. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2011;14:18-23)


Mupirocin, Staphylococcus aureus, Drug resistance