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Home » Archive » 2020

TDK conference 2020

Occurrence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Hungarian equine veterinarians
Szabó Zsolt - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Pathology
Supervisor: Dr. Ervin Albert

Abstract:

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a facultative pathogenic bacterium with great importance in both veterinary and human medicine, with a carrier rate of around 20-30% in both human and domestic mammalian populations. One of the important properties of the pathogen is its rapidly emerging and wide-scale resistance to antimicrobials and the effective spread of the respective antimicrobial resistance genes. Another important factor is the low host specificity of some genetic lines, accounting for a zoonotic potential. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was first detected in cows in the ’70s and then in samples from pig keepers after the turn of the millennium. Animal MRSA (livestock associated-, LA-MRSA) has been found in pigs, dogs, cats, poultry, horses, and humans related to them. In European equine clinics, LA-MRSA belonging to the 398 clonal complex (CC398) is a characteristic nosocomial pathogen, with a carriage rate generally exceeding the population average among staff members.

In our study, we examined the occurrence of S. aureus in samples collected from veterinarians and equestrian specialists at a Hungarian equine medicine conference. Following selective pre-enrichment cultivation of the pathogens, genetic identification and typing of the isolated strains as well as examination of their resistance profile were also performed. Of the 29 samples, 12 (41.4%) yielded S. aureus, of which 6 strains (20.7% of all samples) were MRSA. The majority of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus strains belonged to the more common European genetic lineages related to humans. Four of the MRSA strains belonged to the most common LA-MRSA genotype in Europe, the CC398 clonal complex, and single isolates belonged to the CC1 and CC130 complexes, which also occur in animals. Of the CC398 strains, three are from the t011-SCCmecIV genotype, which is identical to the European equine hospital-specific lineage, and the fourth is t034-SCCmecV, which is characteristic of pigs and other farm animals.

Our research reveals that LA-MRSA also occurs among equine veterinarians working outside Hungarian equine hospitals. The 20% prevalence, and the occurrence of low host-specific genotypes may be of concern, highlighting the importance of MRSA-carriage and reservoir role of humans in daily contact with animals. In animal health, therefore, the education to and use of good hygiene practices by veterinary professionals (doctors, assistants, professional auxiliaries) are both important goals, in order to control multidrug-resistant pathogens.



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