Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen causing skin and tissue infections, pneumonia, septicemia, and device-associated infections. The emergence of strains resistant to methicillin (MRSA) and other antibacterial agents has become a major concern, especially in the hospital environment, because of the high mortality of the infections caused by these strains. Single locus DNA-sequencing of the repeat region of the Staphylococcus protein A gene (spa) can be used for reliable, accurate and discriminatory typing of MRSA. Repeats are assigned a numerical code and the spa-type is deduced from the order of specific repeats. However, spa-typing was hampered in the past by the lack of a consensus on assignments of new spa-repeats and types.
The SpaServer can be used to collate and harmonize data from various geographic regions. The SpaServer website SpaServer.ridom.de is freely accessible to internet users and the spa-repeat sequences and the types can be downloaded. Chromatograms of new spa-repeats and/or types can be submitted online for inclusion into the reference database.
The sequence and epidemiologic data that was uploaded to the SpaServer is curated by SeqNet.