Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus sequence type 398 (MRSA ST398) has emerged in livestock worldwide. In particular, areas in Europe with high densities of livestock farming are affected. Consequently, the incidence of human colonization and infection with ST398 is rapidly increasing. Distinguishing different ST398 isolates with standard typing tools is problematic. The objective of this study was to examine the discriminatory power of Multiple-Locus Variable number tandem repeat Fingerprinting (MLVF) on a highly diverse ST398 collection. Our data show that MLVF combined with spa-typing is an attractive approach for high-resolution typing of ST398 isolates and unveiling their relatedness. (C) 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.