BMC Vet Res. 2021 Apr 26;17(1):177. doi: 10.1186/s12917-021-02884-z.
BACKGROUND: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), especially methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is considered a common zoonotic pathogen, causing severe infections. The objective of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial susceptibility, resistance genes and molecular epidemiology among MRSA and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) isolated from food animals in Sichuan Province, China.
METHODS: This study was conducted on 236 S. aureus isolates. All isolates were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing by using a standard microbroth dilution method. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was performed to identify genes encoding the β-lactams resistance (blaZ, mecA), macrolides (ermA, ermB, ermC) and aminoglycosides (aacA-aphD). The molecular structures and genomic relatedness of MRSA isolates were determined by staphylococcal chromosome cassette mec (SCCmec) typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), respectively.
RESULTS: Among 236 isolates, 24 (10.17 %) were recognized as MRSA. MRSA isolates showed different resistance rates to 11 antimicrobials ranging from 33.33 to 100 %, while for MSSA isolates the rates varied from 8.02 to 91.51 %. Multi-drug resistance phenotype was found in all MRSA isolates. The ermC gene encoding macrolides-lincosamides-streptogramin B was the most prevalent gene detected in 87.29 % of the S. aureus isolates, followed by ermB (83.05 %), blaZ (63.98 %), aacA-aphD (44.07 %), ermA (11.44 %) and mecA (11.02 %) genes. The prevalence of resistance genes in MRSA isolates was significantly higher than that of MSSA. Regarding the molecular morphology, SCCmec III (12/24, 50 %) was the most common SCCmec type. Furthermore, the PFGE typing showed that 24 MRSA were divided into 15 cluster groups (A to O), the major pulsotype J encompassed 25 % of MRSA isolates.
CONCLUSIONS: The S. aureus isolates from food animals in Sichuan province of China have severe antimicrobials resistance with various resistance genes, especially MRSA isolates. Additionally, the genetic pool of MRSA isolates is diverse and complex, and further investigation is necessary.