Prevalence, antibiotic resistance, virulence traits and genetic lineages of Staphylococcus aureus in healthy sheep in Tunisia.Vet Microbiol. 2012 May 04; 156(3-4):367-73.VM
Nasal swabs of 163 healthy sheep were obtained from two farms and one abattoir in Tunisia during 2010. Samples were inoculated in Baird Parker agar and ORSAB medium for Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) recovery, respectively. MRSA was detected in 5 of these 163 samples (3%) in ORSAB medium, and one isolate per sample was further studied. MRSA isolates were mecA-positive, typed as ST153-CC80-t044-agrIII, and contained blaZ, ant(6)-Ia, aph(3')-IIIa, erm(C), tet(K), and fusB genes encoding penicillin, streptomycin, kanamycin, erythromycin, tetracycline and fusidic acid resistance, respectively. These MRSA isolates showed indistinguishable or closely related PFGE-patterns and harboured the lukF/lukS gene encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin and the luk-ED, hla, hld, and hlg(v) genes. Methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) were recovered in 68 of the 163 samples (41.7%) and one isolate per sample was characterized. Most of MSSA (82.4%) showed susceptibility to the tested antibiotics with exceptions: penicillin (6%, carrying blaZ gene), tetracycline (19%, carrying tet(K) gene) and fusidic acid (9%). The following toxin-genes were identified among MSSA: tst (53 isolates), luk-M (52), luk-ED, hla, hlb, hld and hlg(v) (67), hlg (1), sec (49), sel (52), and the egc-cluster-like sen-sem-sei-seo-seg (1). Ten spa-types (two of them new ones) and nine sequence types (six new ones) were detected among the 73 S. aureus isolates, and they were ascribed to agr types I and III. All MRSA and MSSA isolates were able to coagulate bovine plasma and MRSA harboured the immune-evasion-gene-cluster type E.