A total of 138 isolates, 118 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates (staphylococcal cassette chromosome type II, 20 isolates, type III, 39 isolates and type IV, 59 isolates) and 20 methicillin-sensitive S. aureus isolates were evaluated by phenotypic methods: cefoxitin and oxacillin disk diffusion (DD), agar dilution (AD), latex agglutination (LA), oxacillin agar screening (OAS) and chromogenic agar detection. All methods showed 100% specificity, but only the DD tests presented 100% sensitivity. The sensitivity of the other tests ranged from 82.2% (OAS)-98.3% (AD). The LA test showed the second lowest sensitivity (86.4%). The DD test showed high accuracy in the detection of MRSA isolates, but there was low precision in the detection of type IV isolates by the other tests, indicating that the genotypic characteristics of the isolates should be considered.