Characterization of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec elements from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius infections in Australian animals
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© 2018 Worthing et al. We examined the oxacillin resistance phenotype and genomic structure of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) elements from 77 veterinary methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) isolates. Isolates were characterized by oxacillin broth microdilution, whole-genome sequencing, and bioformatics analysis. Five previously described SCCmec elements, and a sixth novel element, were identified: SCCmec III (also known as II-III), ?SCCmec57395, and SCCmecNA45 (a SCCmec VII variant), all previously described in MRSP, and SCCmec IVg and SCCmec VT, previously described in both methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and MRSP. The sixth element was novel and found among nine geographically clustered isolates. This novel pseudostaphylococcal cassette chromosome (?SCCmecKW21) contained a class A mec gene complex but lacked ccr genes. It also harbored heavy metal (cadmium) resistance determinants. The median oxacillin MIC values among ?SCCmecKW21, SCCmec III, and SCCmec VT isolates were significantly higher than those determined for the SCCmecNA45 VII variant isolates and ?SCCmec57395 and SCCmec IVg isolates. ?SCCmecKW21 was found exclusively in sequence type 497 (ST497), an MRSP clone that is locally successful in Victoria, Australia. Future studies are necessary to determine if this clone has disseminated further afield and if ?SCCmecKW21 has moved into other MRSP lineages or staphylococcal species.
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