This study characterizes 81 S. rostri isolates from bovine mastitis (of which 80 were subclinical). The isolates were first identified as S. microti by MALDI-TOF MS, but later whole genome sequencing analysis allowed reclassification as S. rostri. The isolates were derived from 52 cows and nine dairy herds in Denmark. To describe the pathogenicity of S. rostri, we used whole genome sequencing to infer the distribution of genes associated with virulence, antibiotic resistance, and mobile genetic elements. Also, we performed a core-genome phylogeny analysis to study the genetic relatedness among the isolates. All 81 isolates expressed the same virulence profile comprising two putative virulence genes, clpP and clpC. Three isolates carried a resistance gene encoding streptomycin (str) or lincomycin (lnuA) resistance. The distribution of plasmids suggested the detected antibiotic resistance genes to be plasmid-mediated. Phages were abundant among the isolates, and the single isolate from clinical mastitis acquired a phage disparate from the rest, which potentially could be involved with virulence in S. rostri. The core genome phylogeny revealed a strong genetic intra-herd conservation, which indicates the source of introduction being herd-specific and might further imply the ability of S. rostri to adapt to the bovine niche and spread from cow-to-cow in a contagious manner. With this study, we aim to acquaint clinicians and professionals with the existence of S. rostri which might have been overlooked so far.
- Bovine mastitis
- Non-aureus Staphylococci (NAS)
- Staphylococcus rostri
- Whole-genome-sequencing (WGS)
- Virulence factors
- Antibiotic resistance