Molecular epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from Australian veterinarians
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This work investigated the molecular epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from veterinarians in Australia in 2009. The collection (n = 44) was subjected to extensive molecular typing (MLST, spa, SCCmec, dru, PFGE, virulence and antimicrobial resistance genotyping) and antimicrobial resistance phenotyping by disk diffusion. MRSA was isolated from Australian veterinarians representing various occupational emphases. The isolate collection was dominated by MRSA strains belonging to clonal complex (CC) 8 and multilocus sequence type (ST) 22. CC8 MRSA (ST8-IV [2B], spa t064; and ST612-IV [2B] , spa variable,) were strongly associated with equine practice veterinarians (OR = 17.5, 95% CI = 3.3-92.5, P < 0.001) and were often resistant to gentamicin and rifampicin. ST22-IV [2B], spa variable, were strongly associated with companion animal practice veterinarians (OR = 52.5, 95% CI = 5.2-532.7, P < 0.001) and were resistant to ciprofloxacin. A single pig practice veterinarian carried ST398-V [5C2], spa t1451. Equine practice and companion animal practice veterinarians frequently carried multiresistant-CC8 and ST22 MRSA, respectively, whereas only a single swine specialist carried MRSA ST398. The presence of these strains in veterinarians may be associated with specific antimicrobial administration practices in each animal species.
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