A recently identified mecA homologue, mecC, in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been isolated from humans and different animal hosts. The aim of this study was to determine antimicrobial resistance and provide molecular characterization of MRSA and methicillin-resistant non-Staphylococcus aureus staphylococci (MRnSA) isolated from wildlife that carried the gene mecC.
Five S. aureus and one coagulase-negative Staphylococcus isolate displaying phenotypic oxacillin resistance, but not recognized with conventional PCR for mecA, were further characterized by a polyphasic approach. The presence of mecC in all isolates was determined using specific PCR. PCR targeting Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) genes of MRSA was performed. MRSA isolates were genotyped by spa typing and multilocus sequence typing. All isolates were genotyped by staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. 16S rDNA sequence analysis for MRnSA identification was performed. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for all isolates.
All five MRSA isolates contained the mecC gene, were PVL negative, carried SCCmec type XI and belonged to ST130 (where ST stands for sequence type), with spa types t843, t10513 or t3256, or to ST2620, with spa type t4335. The MRnSA isolate, most closely related to Staphylococcus stepanovicii, carried mecA and blaZ genes related to SCCmec XI. MRSA isolates exhibited resistance to the β-lactams only.
The MRSA isolates described in this study represent the first detection of mecC-positive MRSA in a European otter (Lutra lutra) and a European brown hare (Lepus europaeus). The MRnSA isolate represents the first isolation of MRnSA from a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).