Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most prevalent dermatology pathogens in hospitals and increasingly recognized in communities. We determined PFGE pattern of SmaI-restricted genomic DNA, coagulase type, and antimicrobial susceptibility of MRSA isolated in 2008 from dermatology inpatients and healthy hospital employees in A Hospital and from primary school children in Iksan city, Korea. Overall, the isolation rate of MRSA was 3.8% from the 788 normal persons: 4.9% from hospital employees and 1.1% from primary school children. MRSA was isolated in six of 13 (46.2%) family members of four school children with MRSA. The most prevalent coagulase serotype was II from patients and V from healthy individuals. Ten of twenty and six of twenty MRSA isolates from patients and from healthy personnel, respectively, had identical PFGE patterns, suggesting that these are originated from identical clones. Against MRSA from patients, only vancomycin was the most active (MIC range < or =2 microg/ml), whereas the resistance rates were 35% to rifampin and 65% to mupirocin. The resistance rates of patient isolates were > or =90% to amikacin, clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, fusidic acid, gentamicin and tetracycline. In conclusion, the MRSA carriage rates of healthy hospital workers were relatively high, 2.3~7.7%, depending on groups. Family members of a few primary school children with MRSA showed a high carriage rate, suggesting that intrafamily transmission occurred. MRSAs isolated from dermatology inpatients were relatively more resistant to various antimicrobial agents, including mupirocin, but all isolates were susceptibility to vancomycin.