Detection of Small Colony Variants Among Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Blood Isolates

Yagci S., SANCAK B., Hascelik G.

MICROBIAL DRUG RESISTANCE, vol.22, no.8, pp.712-716, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/mdr.2015.0176
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.712-716
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Staphylococcus aureus small colony variants (SCVs) are associated with chronic and persistent infections. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) SCVs cause more severe infections and mortality rates are higher in comparison with infections caused by MRSA. Our objective was to document the prevalence and phenotypical characteristics of SCVs among MRSA blood isolates. MRSA strains isolated from blood during 1999-2009 were evaluated retrospectively. Among 299 MRSA isolates, suspected colonies were inoculated onto Columbia blood agar and Schaedler agar. Columbia blood agar was incubated in normal atmosphere and Schaedler agar in 5-10% CO2, both at 35 degrees C. If the small, nonpigmented, nonhemolytic colonies on Columbia blood agar were seen as normal-sized, hemolytic, and pigmented colonies on Schaedler agar, they were considered as MRSA SCVs. Six MRSA SCVs were detected. When subcultures were made, four of them reversed to phenotypically normal S. aureus, but two isolates were stable as SCV phenotype. The prevalence of SCVs among MRSA blood isolates was found as 6/299 (2%) with 2 (0.67%) stable. The detection of SCVs among MRSA blood isolates was reported from Turkey for the first time in this study. As the clinical significance of MRSA infections is well documented, evaluation of MRSA SCVs in clinical samples, especially from intensive care patients and those who have chronic and persistent infections are important to consider.