Characterization of Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus CC398 and mecC-positive CC130 from Zoo Animals in the United Kingdom.Microb Drug Resist. 2017 Oct; 23(7):908-914.MD
Little is known about the characteristics and diseases associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in nondomestic animals. Four presumptive MRSA isolates, obtained from clinical (n = 3) and surveillance specimens (n = 1) from dwarf (Helogale parvula) and yellow mongooses (Cynictis penicillata) from a United Kingdom zoo, were analyzed by PCR for detection of mecA and mecC-mediated methicillin resistance, and virulence genes. Isolates were genotyped by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) and spa sequence typing. Three isolates, obtained from the dwarf mongooses, carried mecA, tetK, and fexA resistance and virulence genes (icaA, icaD, and sec) and were typed to SCCmec IVa, spa type t899, and clonal complex (CC) 398. The fourth MRSA isolate, obtained from the femoral bone marrow of a yellow mongoose showing postmortem findings consistent with septicemia, carried mecC and was oxacillin/cefoxitin susceptible, when tested at 37°C but showed a characteristic MRSA susceptibility profile at 25°C ± 2°C. Furthermore, this isolate exhibited a different genetic background (SCCmecXI/t843/CC130) and had biofilm-associated genes (bap, icaA, and icaD) and tetK tetracycline resistance genes. This work describes the first isolation of livestock-associated MRSA CC398 from two zoo mongoose species where it was associated with both clinical disease and colonization, and the first isolation of mecC MRSA from a zoo species in the United Kingdom. Both reports highlight the potential for zoo species to act as reservoirs for these zoonotic agents.