Multidrug-resistant pathogens in the food supply.
- Marjorie E Doyle
- Foodborne pathogens and disease
To determine whether methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are present in commercial pig farms and food products from supermarkets in China, we characterized S. aureus isolates from 250 samples associated with swine and animal-related food products in Shandong Province. The isolates were characterized by susceptibility testing, toxin gene detection, pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing, and spa typing. MRSA were identified and typed by the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec). The prevalence of S. aureus among all samples was 19.6% (49/250). MRSA and MSSA accounted for 16.7% (20/120) and 8.3% (10/120), respectively, of swine feces samples. Only MSSA was detected from swine carcass, pork, chicken, and raw milk, accounting for 15% (6/40), 10% (3/30), 20% (6/30), and 13.3% (4/30), respectively. The predominant MRSA clone was ST9-t899 SCCmecIVb/PFGE A (70.0%, 14/20). Among the MSSA isolates, ST9-t899/PFGE A was the most prevalent (27.6%), followed by ST15-t084 (17.2%), ST97-t2756 (10.3%), ST1-t127 (6.9%), and ST398-t899 (3.5%). Some lineages were found that are commonly detected in humans (e.g., ST1, ST5, ST7, ST59, ST88) or are human-specific (e.g., ST15). The toxin genes sec, seh, and enterotoxin gene cluster (egc) were significantly more prevalent among isolates of lineage ST9 (p<0.001) compared to other lineages, and the ST9 isolates were more resistant to erythromycin, clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, and gentamicin. The same lineage was identified from different sample types, indicating circulation of the related strains within the area of study. In conclusion, swine and food products of animal origin carried S. aureus, and the predominant ST9 clone possesses a multidrug-resistance profile and a high prevalence of sec, seh, and egc enterotoxin genes.