Main content area

CRISPR tracking reveals global spreading of antimicrobial resistance genes by Staphylococcus of canine origin

Rossi, Ciro César, Andrade-Oliveira, Ana Luisa, Giambiagi-deMarval, Marcia
Veterinary microbiology 2019 v.232 pp. 65-69
CRISPR sequences, Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, Staphylococcus schleiferi, antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistance genes, chromosomes, dogs, drug therapy, gene editing, human health, humans, immunity, microorganisms, pets, plasmids, virulence, virulent strains
The close contact between pets and their owners is a potential source for microorganisms and genetic material exchange. Staphylococcus species considered as harmless inhabitants of animals’ and humans’ microbiota can act as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes to more virulent species, thereby increasing their potential to resist drug therapy. This process could be inhibited by the antiplasmid immunity conferred by CRISPR systems. On the other hand, CRISPR spacer sequences can be explored as molecular clocks to track the history of genetic invasion suffered by a bacterial strain. To understand better the role of domestic dogs in human health as an antimicrobial resistance genes source, we analyzed 129 genomes of Staphylococcus strains of canine origin for the presence of CRISPR systems. Only 8% of the strains were positive for CRISPR, which is consistent with Staphylococcus role as gene reservoirs. The plasmidial origin or some spacers confirms the unsuccessful attempt of plasmid exchange in strains carrying CRISPRs. Some of these systems are within a staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), sharing 98% of identity between their harboring strains. These CRISPRs’ spacers reveal that this SCCmec was transferred between canine S. pseudintermedius strains, then to S. schleiferi and to Staphylococcus strains isolated from human beings. Our findings shows genetic evidence for the global spreading of pathogenic bacteria and the antimicrobial resistance genes carried by them and reinforce that, in the age of antimicrobial resistance, it is imperative that drug therapies consider the integrated nature of the relationship between pets and humans.