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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), especially CC398, have emerged in livestock worldwide. We investigated the occurrence of MRSA in pigs at slaughter and in retail meat. During 2009, nasal swabs (n=789) were taken from pigs at slaughter. Moreover, 866 meat samples [Danish: pork (153), broiler meat (121), beef (142) and; imported: pork (173), broiler meat (193), and beef (84)] were randomly collected in retail stores and outlets. MRSA was isolated from nasal swabs or from meat samples after preenrichment (Mueller Hinton broth with 6.5% NaCl), selective enrichment (tryptone soya broth with 4mg/L cefoxitine and 75mg/L aztreonam) and selective plating on Brilliance Chromogenic MRSA agar. The presence of mecA was confirmed by PCR and the MRSA isolates were spa typed. Novel MRSA spa types were characterized by MLST, PFGE and SCCmec typing. Thirteen percent (101/789) of the pigs had MRSA. Based on spa types 93% corresponded to CC398 (spa t011, t034, t1451, t2876, t2974), 4% to CC30 (t1333) and one isolate to CC1 (t0127). The spa type t1333 (CC30), which is common among methicillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) from pigs in Denmark, contained a SCCmec cassette type V and czrC zinc resistance gene. Imported broiler meat had the highest occurrence (18%) of MRSA, followed by imported pork (7.5%) and Danish pork (4.6%). MRSA ST398 was found for the first time in Danish beef (1.4%). The finding of MRSA CC30 (spa t1333) suggest possible spread of the SCCmec cassette normally associated with ST398 into another S. aureus lineage common in pigs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)246-250
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 46


  • Swine, Spa types, mecA, Poultry meat
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ID: 7749257