Document Type


Publication Date



An exploratory study of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and SCCmec elements in bacteria along the Mexican border of south Texas was performed. Between September and December of 2008, 375 swabs of anterior nares were self-collected by students attending the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and cultured for MRSA. Fifty seven bacterial isolates were kept for further analysis that included suspected MRSA and other SCCmec-containing bacteria. Isolates were examined for the presence of nuc, mecA, lukS-PV, and spa genes using PCR. SCCmec and spa typing were also performed. Seven S. aureus isolates were found of which six were classified as MRSA. SCCmec typing showed five of the six MRSA strains to be type IV, while one MRSA strain, and most of the non-S. aureus strains, were untypeable, producing results that were indicative of mixed SCCmec types. Five of the six MRSA strains contained known spa types (two of which corresponded to USA300 and one to USA600), while one strain had a novel spa type. Only one isolate, a USA300 MRSA, was positive for lukS-PV. Easy access by the Texas border community to antibiotics in Mexico without a prescription, and the strong partition in SCCmec types between MRSA and non-S. aureus bacteria suggest that this border region of Texas may be uniquely suited for the study of emerging SCCmec types, their horizontal transfer, and perhaps other aspects of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Publication Title

Current microbiology


Included in

Chemistry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.