A new strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been identified by a group of scientists from the University of Dublin.
Publishing their findings in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, the team revealed that the new strain is not detected as MRSA by routine conventional and real-time DNA-based polymerase chain reaction assays commonly used to screen patients for MRSA.
In fact, it was found to belong to the genetic lineage clonal complex 130. This has previously been associated with MSSA, which comes from cows and other animals but was not linked to humans.
Professor David Coleman from the University of Dublin commented: "The results of our study and the independent United Kingdom study indicate that new types of MRSA that can colonize and infect humans are currently emerging from animal reservoirs in Ireland and Europe and it is difficult to correctly identify them as MRSA.
"This knowledge will enable us to rapidly adapt existing genetic MRSA detection tests, but has also provided invaluable insights into the evolution and origins of MRSA."