The Australian Collaborating Centre for Enterococcus and Staphylococcus (ACCESS) Typing and Research
Established in 1997, The Australian Collaborating Centre for Enterococcus and Staphylococcus (ACCESS) Typing and Research is a joint venture between the School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University and the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Royal Perth Hospital, PathWest Laboratory Medicine – WA. The Centre is a research centre and a reference laboratory for Gram-positive bacteria, in particular methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).
ACCESS receives bacterial isolates from laboratories throughout Australia and overseas. We participate in surveys on Staphylococcus and Enterococcus species and collaborate with other typing networks that enable us to monitor the national and international spread of these organisms. By employing a variety of phenotypic and genotypic assays we have been able to study the molecular epidemiology of MRSA and VRE.
- Species identification of staphylococci and enterococci by phenotypic tests, PCR, 16S rRNA sequencing and MALDI-TOF
- Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
- Genotypic MRSA and VRE confirmation
- Genotyping by coagulase PCR-RFLP, PFGE, spa and drusequencing, and MLST
- SCCmec typing
- Genotypic toxin profiling
- Microarray analysis with detection of 333 molecular markers (toxin, antimicrobial resistance, virulence and regulatory genes)
- Whole genome sequencing
- Plasmid isolation and charactersiation
- Plasmid manipulation and mobility
- Professor Catherine Bennett, Deakin University, Victoria
- Associate Professor Ben Howden, The University of Melbourne, Victoria
- Professor Graeme Nimmo, Pathology Queensland and Griffith University, Queensland
- Dr Tim Stinear, The University of Melbourne, Victoria
- Dr Darren Trott, The University of Adelaide, South Australia
- Professor John Turnidge, The University of Adelaide, South Australia
- Dr Stefan Monecke, Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Technical University of Dresden and Alere Technologies GmbH, Jena
- Dr Ralf Ehricht, Alere Technologies GmbH, Jena
- Dr Deborah Williamson, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland and Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Wellington
United States of America
- Dr. Richard Goering, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska
Molecular Characterisation of MRSA and VRE in Western Australia
- For infection control purposes, since 1997 all MRSA and VRE isolated in Western Australia are referred to ACCESS for epidemiological typing. MRSA are characterised as healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) or community-associated (CA-MRSA). An annual report of the programme is available on the Western Australian Health Department website. In addition to preventing MRSA and VRE from becoming endemic in Western Australian hospitals, the programme has enabled ACCESS to study the emergence and evolution of CA-MRSA in Australia providing an insight into the frequency of S. aureus SCCmec acquisition within a region
Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AGAR)
- ACCESS is the reference laboratory for the S. aureus and Enterococcus antimicrobial resistance surveillance programmes conducted by the Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance(AGAR). AGAR is a network of laboratory scientists and clinicians from major microbiology laboratories around Australia that have been conducting national resistance surveillance for more than 25 years. The AGAR reports are available on the AGAR wesbite.
National Health Medical Research Council Grants
- Epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus and Antibiotic Resistance in Community-Acquired Infections (Number 509304)
- This study follows patients with community-acquired S. aureus infections, and close contacts, for 24 months to see if they carry S. aureus (nose swabs) or develop infection. Our data on risk factors for colonisation and infection will help doctors decide whether to trace and treat contacts of patients to protect households from further infection.
- Why is Golden Staph now Causing Serious Disease in the Community?
Council (Number 1008656)
- This project will find out how S. aureus is evolving to become more likely to cause disease in the community. This knowledge can then be used to design new strategies for early detection, prevention and treatment.
Australian Collaborating Centre for Enterococcus and Staphylococcus Species (ACCESS) Typing and Research
School of Biomedical Sciences
Dr Geoffrey Coombs
Prospective student enquiries for postgraduate studies should be directed to Dr Joshua Ramsay (firstname.lastname@example.org).