Association between phage types and antimicrobial resistance among bovine Staphylococcus aureus from 10 countries

J. Vintov, Frank Møller Aarestrup, C. E. Zinn, J. E. Olsen

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This study was conducted to investigate the diversity of phage types and associations between penicillin resistance and phage types among 815 Staphylococcus aureus isolates from bovine mastitis in nine European countries and USA. All isolates were examined for susceptibility to antimicrobial agents and characterised by phage typing. Penicillin resistance was found among strains from all countries with an average occurrence of 32.4% (2-71.4%). A total of 76% of isolates were identifiable by phage typing and 144 different phage types were observed. The most predominant types were phage type 29 (11% of the 815 isolates), phage type 52 (5%), and phage type 80 (5%). Phage type 95 and 29/52/52A/80 were both distributed within seven countries. In the countries with the highest occurrence of penicillin resistance a reduced diversity of phage types and phage groups was observed. Phage group In was significantly associated with penicillin resistance in contrast to phage group I (P = 0.0023) and phage complex-80 (P = 0.0066). This study confirms that a large number of phage types of S. aureus cause bovine mastitis, but that some types predominate. In addition, these findings could indicate that the use of penicillin in the bovine environment has selected for specific types of S. aureus in countries with a high frequency of resistance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)133-147
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • antimicrobial resistance
  • phage type
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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