This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Multiple-antibiotic-resistant, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) presents a major threat to infected patients. The majority of infections caused by MRSA on a global scale are caused by certain clones, often referred to as """"""""epidemic MRSA"""""""". The identification of patients infected with epidemic MRSA clones and application of stringent barrier techniques and contact isolation to the associated wards and areas, can lead to a halt in nosocomial MRSA outbreaks and reduce overall morbidity and mortality. In this pilot project we intend to: 1. Determine the molecular identity of MRSA clones in the Las Cruces region; 2. Determine the effectiveness of high-sensitivity flow cytometry (FCM) in determining MRSA strain relatedness in a real world setting, in comparison to established MRSA molecular typing techniques; 3. Produce a natural history library of MRSA strains from the Paso Del Norte region for exchange with researchers around the world and further examination of novel MRSA clone introductions and/or local geographical evolution;and 4. Develop the scientific foundation for the development of a bacterial pathogen-typing center on the US-Mexican border. We hypothesis that a unique flow cytometry (FCM)-based technique developed at LANL will comparably differentiate MRSA strains as well as two gold standard molecular typing techniques, and in less time. Proof that the FCM technique is an effective tool for determining MRSA strain molecular identity and relatedness, will help legitimize this technology and allow FCM to increase the speed at which epidemic MRSA clones and other pathogenic bacterial clones are identified. Furthermore, establishment of a strong molecular epidemiology/bacterial typing unit in our region could theoretically be called into duty to identify outbreaks of potential bacterial bioweapons and used to track the source of such infections in a relatively short time. In addition, this pilot study will establish a firm relationship between the laboratory of Babetta Marrone at LANL which is developing cutting edge bacterial typing/identification technology and NMSU faculty where some of these techniques can be tested in a real world setting.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-K (40))
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Los Alamos National Lab
Los Alamos
United States
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