Phenotypic and Molecular Characterization of Vancomycin and Linezolid Resistance in Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus

Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections and poses a significant global challenge due to its high pathogenicity and rapid spread among patients. Vancomycin and linezolid are key antibiotics for treating staphylococcal MRSA infections. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate resistance to vancomycin and linezolid in clinical isolates of S. aureus. Methods: In this study, 270 S. aureus isolates were collected from patients admitted to hospitals in Tehran and Qazvin. Strain identification was performed using biochemical methods and femA gene amplification. Resistance to methicillin and vancomycin was determined using disk diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) determination, and E-test methods. Methicillin resistance was also assessed by detecting the presence of the mecA and mecC genes. Resistance to vancomycin and linezolid was evaluated by examining the presence of vanA, B, C, and cfr genes using PCR and sequencing. Results: Out of 270 S. aureus isolates, 152 (56.3%) were identified as MRSA, with 144 (94.7%) of these MRSA isolates containing the mecA gene. Two (0.7%) VRSA isolates were observed, and the vanA gene was detected in both. Additionally, four VISA (1.4%) isolates were identified, but the vanA gene was not detected in any of the VISA strains. None of the isolates contained the mecC, vanB, or vanC genes. Among the 10 (3.7%) linezolid-resistant isolates, none contained the cfr gene. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrated a high prevalence of MRSA isolates, which can lead to treatment failure with beta-lactam antibiotics. The emergence and spread of VRSA and VISA isolates pose a serious concern for the healthcare system, particularly in the treatment of MRSA infections. Therefore, the findings emphasize the need for appropriate monitoring and control measures to prevent the emergence and transmission of MRSA and VRSA strains. Vancomycin and linezolid remain suitable drugs for treating these infections.