A total of 91 consecutive clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus were collected at the Regional Hospital of Arkhangelsk, Russia, from May to December 2004, and examined for antimicrobial susceptibility, methicillin resistance and presence of Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) genes. Epidemiological typing was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were examined by staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. High-to-moderate rates of resistance to penicillin (beta-lactamase production; 93%), tetracycline (40%), erythromycin and clindamycin (32%) were observed. Forty out of ninety-one (44%) isolates were positive for PVL genes. Thirty-six (40%) PVL-positive methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) strains were shown by PFGE and MLST typing (ST121, ST681, ST837) to be part of a nosocomial outbreak caused by clonal complex (CC) 121. PFGE, MLST and SCCmec typing revealed three MRSA clones. Sequence type (ST) 239-III (n=11), ST1097-III (n=1) and ST8-IV (n=3) belong to CC8 of epidemic multiresistant MRSA, whereas ST426-MRSA-IV/CC395 (n=1) has not been reported previously. All MRSA strains were PVL negative. The overall results underline the necessity of microbiological sampling, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and epidemiological typing as a rational basis for antimicrobial treatment of S. aureus infections, and infection control measures to limit the spread of multiresistant MRSA and epidemic MSSA clones.