Phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from zoo and wild animals
Antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus is a major problem in human and veterinary medicine. The aim of this study was to characterise S. aureus isolates from wild and zoo animals mainly associated with bacterial infections. In total, 23 S. aureus isolates, including nine from wild animals and 14 from zoo animals, were obtained during routine diagnostics. All isolates were subjected to multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, macrorestriction analysis with subsequent SmaI pulsed-field gelelectrophoresis (PFGE), antimicrobial susceptibility testing and S. aureus-specific DNA-microarray analysis. Resistant isolates were also tested for their respective resistance genes by PCR. Isolates from zoo animals and wildlife showed a high diversity of MLST types, spa types and PFGE patterns. Nineteen different spa types were identified, including three novel types and 16 main macrorestriction patterns. Only few isolates were resistant to members of four classes of antimicrobial agents and harboured the respective resistance genes (β-lactams [blaZ, mecA, mecC], tetracyclines [tet(K), tet(L)] and chloramphenicol [catpC221]) or mutations (fluoroquinolones). The DNA microarray analysis identified one isolate from a zoo animal harbouring the toxic shock syndrome toxin gene tst1. Moreover, several enterotoxin genes were detected in five S. aureus isolates. All isolates were negative for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes, but the animal-associated leukocidin genes lukM/lukF-P83 were found in three isolates from two animals.
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