Home > Journals > Medicina dello Sport > Past Issues > Medicina dello Sport 2016 March;69(1) > Medicina dello Sport 2016 March;69(1):58-70





A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,163




Medicina dello Sport 2016 March;69(1):58-70


language: English, Italian

The frequency of mecA and icaA/icaD genes in staphylococci isolated from the ear canal of swimmers

Yunus YILDIRIM 1, Nizami DURAN 2, Gulay G. DURAN 3

1 Physical Education and Sport High School, Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey; 2 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey; 3 Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey


BACKGROUND: Staphylococci are the primary causes of external and internal auditory canal infections among other bacterial agents. The ability of disease in staphylococci depend on various virulence factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of mecA genes and slime production in staphylococci isolated from the external auditory canal of the student attending the swimming course.
METHODS: This study is a controlled laboratory study. A total of 263 swimming students and 98 voluntaries were included to the study. Cultures were taken from the swimming students’ and healthy persons’ external ear canal. Methicillin resistance gene (mecA), slime genes and biofilm production in staphylococci were determined by genotypic and phenotypic methods.
RESULTS: MecA was positive in 14.4% of all isolates. Whilst the presence of mecA gene in a total of 59 strains of S. aureus was found to be 8.5% in swimmers, this ratio was detected as 16.2% among the coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). The presence of the mecA gene among CNS was significantly higher than that of S. aureus isolates (P<0.001). In 206 strains of 263 (78.3%) staphylococci, the presence of icaA and icaD genes was detected as 78.3% in staphylococci among swimmers. This ratio in S. aureus and CNS was 59.3% and 83.8%, respectively. Slime genes in the control group was detected as 63.3%, whereas this rate was statistically significant higher in swimmers (P<0.001). The frequency rates of icaA and icaD genes among S. aureus and CNS in healthy control group were 53.3% and 65.1%, respectively (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The rate of methicillin resistance and slime production in staphylococci and also, the colonization rate of S. aureus within ear canal in the students attending swimming course was found higher than in the healthy volunteers. To prevent outbreaks of swimming pool-associated illness, periodically, athletes should be screened for pathogenic microorganisms such as slime-producing and methicillin resistant staphylococci.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Corresponding author e-mail