Ridom SpaServer - Policy Document

Last updated 10th December 2005 by Ridom GmbH (Würzburg, Germany) and (Münster and Wernigerode, Germany).

The primary purpose of the SpaServer website is for the typing of Staphylococcus aureus isolates for research of their evolutionary population biology and local, regional, national, or international epidemiology.

The website is developed by Ridom GmbH and curated by

The nomenclature data (spa-repeat and -type assignments) of the SpaServer is the property of Ridom GmbH. The epidemiologic data of the SpaServer is the property of the submitters. is curating these data on behalf of all submitters (also for non members). The requirements of the quality of sequencing data for submitting are defined by

Although the website is developed by Ridom GmbH and curated by, we see the SpaServer database as a joint project of the scientific community in the field. For reasons of security and accountability, we require that all submitters of data are registered users and provide an email address or other means of communication.

Submission of data is possible for everyone interested. However, all assignments of new spa-types and -repeats by users not using the Ridom StaphType software will be done by a curator. Assignment requests must be accompanied by forward and reverse trace files submitted through the SpaServer website. In case of disagreement due to poor quality of the sequence data, the strains containing new spa-types and/or -repeats must be re-sequenced by the submitting laboratory if an assignment is still wished.

The objective is that the website contains facilities for querying the database and statistical analysis of the data. The results of these queries and analyses may be used and published by the users. However, this website must be acknowledged in all publications.

The preferred format of the acknowledgement is: "This publication made use of the spa typing website ( that is developed by Ridom GmbH and curated by (" Furthermore we ask every user to cite the following reference:
Harmsen D., Claus H., Witte W., Rothgänger J., Claus H., Turnwald D., & Vogel U. (2003). Typing of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a university hospital setting using a novel software for spa-repeat determination and database management. J. Clin. Microbiol. 41:5442-5448.

Individuals may download the database and use the content for non-commercial purposes only. Copies of the SpaServer database may not be used without permission to produce database driven web server or any other product or service. Data submitters should be aware that their data may be downloaded and used in this way. The database, spa-type and -repeat assignments on the official "" website are the definitive ones and should be used in all publications.

At present, no password is required to use the facility but this may be introduced in future. Furthermore, we reserve the right to enforce other stronger security measures if we detect abuse of the website.

We cannot be held liable for any misuse of data held on this site or for any consequences of errors, loss or corruption of data, or of down-time of the site.