Author(s): Lee JH
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Abstract From May 2001 to April 2003, various types of specimens from cattle, pigs, and chickens were collected and examined for the presence of methicillin (oxacillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). S. aureus was isolated and positively identified by using Gram staining, colony morphology, tests for coagulase and urease activities, and an API Staph Ident system. Among 1,913 specimens collected from the animals, 421 contained S. aureus; of these, 28 contained S. aureus resistant to concentrations of oxacillin higher than 2 micro g/ml. Isolates from 15 of the 28 specimens were positive by PCR for the mecA gene. Of the 15 mecA-positive MRSA isolates, 12 were from dairy cows and 3 were from chickens. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests of mecA-positive MRSA strains were performed by the disk diffusion method. All isolates were resistant to members of the penicillin family, such as ampicillin, oxacillin, and penicillin. All isolates were also susceptible to amikacin, vancomycin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. To determine molecular epidemiological relatedness of these 15 animal MRSA isolates to isolates from humans, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) patterns were generated by arbitrarily primed PCR. The RAPD patterns of six of the isolates from animals were identical to the patterns of certain isolates from humans. The antibiotypes of the six animal isolates revealed types similar to those of the human isolates. These data suggested that the genomes of the six animal MRSA isolates were very closely related to those of some human MRSA isolates and were a possible source of human infections caused by consuming contaminated food products made from these animals.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Medical Microbiology & Diagnosis