To investigate the clonal diversity of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated at Joao Pessoa, State of Paraiba, Brazil, digested genomic DNA were studied by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) in nine methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA) and three methicillin-sensitive strains (MSSA), selected among 67 isolates based on their antimicrobial susceptibility and epidemiology. The isolates were obtained between April and November 1992 from the Hospital of the Federal University of Paraiba, located in Joao Pessoa. Two MRSA isolates from the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil, including an epidemic strain previously detected from different hospitals at the country were used as control. Five different patterns, were demonstrated by MRSA isolated in Joao Pessoa and these patterns were described in several
epidemiologically unrelated hospitals in Sao Paulo. Our results suggest the interstate dissemination of a MRSA clone in Joao Pessoa which is similar to that described in other cities of Brazil.