Prevalence of enterotoxin and toxic shock syndrome toxin genes in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from milk of cows with mastitis.Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2006 Fall; 3(3):274-83.FP
Staphylococcus aureus isolated from milk of cows with mastitis were evaluated for the prevalence of 16 enterotoxin genes (sea-see and seg-seq) and toxic shock syndrome toxin gene (tsst-1). Of 78 S. aureus examined, 73 (93.6%) were positive for one or more enterotoxin genes and these were divided into 36 groups by the presence of different enterotoxin genes. Enterotoxin genes including sen (84.6%), sem (71.8%), sei (60.3%) and sed (52.6%) were found frequently, while seg (24.4%), seq (16.7%), seo (12.8%), and seb (1.3%) were found at lower frequencies. Toxic shock syndrome toxin (tsst-1) gene was detected in 20 (25.6%) isolates and was always found in combination with other enterotoxin genes. The majority (88.5%) harbored more than one enterotoxin gene in different combinations. Eight S. aureus isolates (10.3%) were positive for sed, sei, sem, and sen; six (7.7%) possessed sed, seg, sei, sem, sen, and tsst-1; five (6.4%) had sei, sem, and sen; and four (5.1%) had sei, and sen. One isolate was positive for seb along with other SE genes including sed, seh, sem, sen, seq, and tsst-1. None of the isolates carried other enterotoxin genes (sea, sec, see, sej, sek, sel, and sep). PFGE profiles revealed 15 distinct pulsotypes among the 78 S. aureus isolates evaluated. PFGE and enterotoxin gene profiles did not match with each other because a single pulsotype carried different combinations of enterotoxin genes. The majority of S. aureus isolated from milk of mastitic cows carried newly described SE genes sem, sen and sei along with classical SE genes, sed and tsst-1. This is the first report describing the high prevalence of newly described enterotoxin genes, sem and sen in S. aureus from bovine mastitis. The high prevalence of enterotoxin genes and tsst-1 in S. aureus may be important as it is relevant to udder pathogenicity and food hygiene.