Antimicrobial Resistance among Staphylococci of Animal Origin
Antimicrobial resistance among staphylococci of animal origin is based on a wide variety of resistance genes. These genes mediate resistance to many classes of antimicrobial agents approved for use in animals, such as penicillins, cephalosporins, tetracyclines, macrolides, lincosamides, phenicols, aminoglycosides, aminocyclitols, pleuromutilins, and diaminopyrimidines. In addition, numerous mutations have been identified that confer resistance to specific antimicrobial agents, such as ansamycins and fluoroquinolones. The gene products of some of these resistance genes confer resistance to only specific members of a class of antimicrobial agents, whereas others confer resistance to the entire class or even to members of different classes of antimicrobial agents, including agents approved solely for human use. The resistance genes code for all three major resistance mechanisms: enzymatic inactivation, active efflux, and protection/modification/replacement of the cellular target sites of the antimicrobial agents. Mobile genetic elements, in particular plasmids and transposons, play a major role as carriers of antimicrobial resistance genes in animal staphylococci. They facilitate not only the exchange of resistance genes among members of the same and/or different staphylococcal species, but also between staphylococci and other Gram-positive bacteria. The observation that plasmids of staphylococci often harbor more than one resistance gene points toward coselection and persistence of resistance genes even without direct selective pressure by a specific antimicrobial agent. This chapter provides an overview of the resistance genes and resistance-mediating mutations known to occur in staphylococci of animal origin.