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The Emergence and Spread of Multiple Livestock-Associated Clonal Complex 398 Methicillin-Resistant and Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Strains among Animals and Humans in the Republic of Ireland, 2010-2014

The Emergence and Spread of Multiple Livestock-Associated Clonal Complex 398 Methicillin-Resistant and Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Strains among Animals and Humans in the Republic of Ireland, 2010-2014

Plos One 11(2): E0149396

Clonal complex (CC) 398 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) are associated with carriage and infection among animals and humans but only a single case of CC398 MRSA has been reported in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). The present study investigated the molecular epidemiology of CC398 MRSA (n = 22) and MSSA (n = 10) from animals and humans in the ROI from 2010-2014. Isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing, spa typing, DNA microarray profiling and PCR for CC398-associated resistance genes. All MRSA underwent SCCmec IV or V subtyping. Four distinct CC398-MRSA incidents were identified from (i) a man in a nursing home (spa type t011-SCCmec IVa, immune evasion complex (IEC) negative), (ii) a horse and veterinarian who had recently travelled to Belgium (t011-IVa, IEC positive), (iii) pigs (n = 9) and farm workers (n = 9) on two farms, one which had been restocked with German gilts and the other which was a finisher farm (t034-VT, IEC negative, 3/9 pigs; t011-VT, IEC negative, 6/9 pigs & 9/9 farm workers), and (iv) a child who had worked on a pig farm in the UK (t034-VT, IEC negative). Isolates also carried different combinations of multiple resistance genes including erm(A), erm(B), tet(K), tet(M) & tet(L), fexA, spc, dfrG, dfrK aacA-aphD and aadD further highlighting the presence of multiple CC398-MRSA strains. CC398 MSSA were recovered from pigs (n = 8) and humans (n = 2). CC398 MSSA transmission was identified among pigs but zoonotic transmission was not detected with animal and human isolates exhibiting clade-specific traits. This study highlights the importation and zoonotic spread of CC398 MRSA in the ROI and the spread of CC398 MSSA among pigs. Increased surveillance is warranted to prevent further CC398 MRSA importation and spread in a country that was considered CC398 MRSA free.

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Accession: 059005408

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PMID: 26886749

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