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Multilocus Sequence Typing and Staphylococcal Protein A Typing Revealed Novel and Diverse Clones of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Seafood and the Aquatic Environment

Murugadas, V., Toms, C. Joseph, Reethu, Sara A., Lalitha, K. V.
Journal of food protection 2017 v.80 no.3 pp. 476-481
algorithms, antibiotic resistance, aquatic environment, clones, food animals, loci, methicillin, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, multilocus sequence typing, pathogens, seafoods, India
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been a global health concern since the 1960s, and isolation of this pathogen from food-producing animals has been increasing. However, little information is available on the prevalence of MRSA and its clonal characteristics in seafood and the aquatic environment. In this study, 267 seafood and aquatic environment samples were collected from three districts of Kerala, India. Staphylococcal protein A (spa) typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed for 65 MRSA strains isolated from 20 seafood and aquatic environment samples. The MRSA clonal profiles were t657-ST772, t002-ST5, t334-ST5, t311-ST5, t121-ST8, t186-ST88, t127-ST1, and two non-spa assignable strains. Whole spa gene sequence analysis along with MLST confirmed one strain as t711-ST6 and another as a novel MRSA clone identified for the first time in seafood and the aquatic environment with a t15669 spa type and a new MLST profile of ST420-256-236-66-82-411-477. The MRSA strains were clustered into five clonal complexes based on the goeBURST algorithm, indicating high diversity among MRSA strains in seafood and the aquatic environment. The novel clone formed a separate clonal complex with matches to three loci. This study recommends large-scale spa typing and MLST of MRSA isolates from seafood and the aquatic environment to determine the prevalence of new MRSA clones. This monitoring process can be useful for tracing local spread of MRSA isolates into the seafood production chain in a defined geographical area.