Part of a 20-60 kb staphylococcal chromosome cassette called mecA encodes low-affinity penicillin-binding protein PBP2a and causes methicillin resistance. Among all methicillin-resistant bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen and main concern worldwide. Although the origin of the mecA is not very well-defined, mecA homologues are also ubiquitous in methicillin-resistant non-staphylococcal bacteria. Due to the dissemination of methicillin resistance through the transmission of mecA gene among staphylococcal and non-staphylococcal bacteria inhabiting surface waters, there is a need to monitor mecA gene in these waters for public health safety. Therefore, this study aimed at monitoring mecA harboring bacteria inhabiting surface waters by using fluorescently labelled mecA-targeted oligonucleotide probes. Under the hybridization conditions of 55 % formamide and 0.020 M NaCl at 46A degrees C, the oligonucleotide probe used in the study showed high hybridization stringency to the mecA gene targeted. The strong linear relationships observed between the signal intensity and the target gene were used to assess the population dynamics of mecA harboring isolates over a 2-year-period. The results indicated that mecA-targeted oligonucleotide probes can be effectively used for in situ monitoring of methicillin resistant isolates inhabiting surface waters.