PLoS One. 2021 Jul 2;16(7):e0254048. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254048. eCollection 2021.
The close contact between humans and their dogs can lead to the commingling of staphylococci and the exchange of mobile genetic elements encoding antimicrobial resistance. The objectives of this study were to determine the species distribution and antimicrobial resistance patterns of staphylococci colonizing canine pets and their owners in Trinidad. Staphylococci were isolated from canine pets and their owners and identified using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method against seven classes of antimicrobial agents. A total of 440 staphylococci were isolated from 112 canine pets and their owners, 53.4% were from canine pets and 46.6% were from owners. Twenty-four species were detected, of which, most isolates (32.5%) belonged to the Staphylococcus intermedius group (SIG). S. sciuri was the most common species of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) comprising 22.3% of all isolates. Antimicrobial resistance was highest against commonly used antimicrobials, such as penicillin (51.4%), tetracycline (26.1%) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (18.6%). These antimicrobials also comprised the most common multidrug resistance (MDR) combination. Overall, 19.1% of isolates displayed multidrug resistance. No methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates were detected. However, methicillin resistance was detected in 13.3% and 15.1% of coagulase-positive staphylococci (CoPS) and the CoNS+CoVS (combined CoNS and coagulase-variable staphylococci) group respectively. The presence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci is worrisome because there is the potential for the transfer of these strains between dogs and humans. These strains may act as a reservoir of resistance genes.