Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Presence of antiseptic resistance genes in porcine methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Presence of antiseptic resistance genes in porcine methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.



Department of Health Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Numerous studies have documented the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in meat-producing animals, which has led to concern about its spread into the community. Disinfectants play an important role in reduction of contamination in both animal husbandry and food-preparation, helping control spread of organisms from foodstuffs, including raw meat. Plasmid-borne antiseptic resistance (AR) genes increasing tolerance to several disinfectants have been reported in S. aureus of human origin (qacA/B and smr) and from bovine, equine, and caprine staphylococcal isolates (qacG, qacH, and qacJ). This study investigated the presence of AR genes in porcine MRSA isolates. Plasmid DNA from 100 MRSA ST9 strains isolated from pig carcasses was amplified for the presence of AR genes. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) to benzalkonium chloride (BC) and chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) were determined in AR gene-positive isolates. qacG was present in 45 strains, eight of which also harbored smr. No strains carried qacA/B, qacH or qacJ. Presence of smr increased MICs to both BC and CHX and MBCs of CHX, but qacG presence only resulted in elevated MBC for CHX. This is the first report of AR genes from a porcine source. AR gene positivity has previously been associated with methicillin resistance and AR gene presence in these strains may increase their ability to persist in the environment. Improved implementation of hygiene measures during transportation and pre- and post-slaughter should be considered to prevent spread in the community.