Animals (Basel). 2021 Mar 8;11(3):732. doi: 10.3390/ani11030732.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the important antibiotic resistant pathogens causing infections in humans and animals. The increasing observation of MRSA in wildlife species has raised the concern of its impact on animal health and the potential of zoonotic transmission. This study investigated the prevalence of S. aureus in fecal samples from non-human primates in a zoo located in Jiangsu, China, in which 6 out of 31 (19.4%) fecal samples, and 2 out of 14 (14.3%) indoor room floor swab samples were S. aureus-positive. The antibiotic susceptibility tests of the eight isolates showed that the two isolates were resistant to both penicillin and cefoxitin, the three isolates were resistant only to penicillin, while three isolates were susceptible to all detected antibiotics. The two isolates resistant to cefoxitin were further identified as MRSA by the presence of mecA. Five different spa types were identified including t034 of two MRSA isolates from Trachypithecus francoisi, t189 of two methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates from Rhinopithecus roxellana, t377 of two MSSA isolates from Colobus guereza, and two novel spa types t19488 and t19499 from Papio anubis. Whole genome sequencing analysis showed that MRSA t034 isolates belonged to ST398 clustered in clonal complex 398 (CC398) and carried the type B ΦSa3 prophage. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the two MRSA t034/ST398 isolates were closely related to the human-associated MSSA in China. Moreover, two MRSA isolates contained the virulence genes relating to the cell adherence, biofilm formation, toxins, and the human-associated immune evasion cluster, which indicated the potential of bidirectional transfer of MRSA between monkeys and humans. This study is the first to report MRSA CC398 from monkey feces in China, indicating that MRSA CC398 could colonize in monkey and have the risk of transmission between humans and monkeys.