Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates on broiler farms

S. Wendlandt, K. Kadlec, A. Fessler, D. Mevius, A. van Essen-Zandbergen, P. Hengeveld, T. Bosch, L. Schouls, S. Schwarz, E. van Duijkeren

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to investigate the resistance pheno- and genotypes and the molecular typing characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates from broiler farms in order to explore transmission between the different reservoirs. Thirty-seven MRSA CC398 isolates (11 from broilers, 15 from the broiler houses, 5 from farm residences and 6 from humans living and/or working on the farms) cultured from samples at four different farms during a previous study, were included. In addition to the previously determined spa types, the isolates were characterized by dru typing, SCCmec typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and DNA microarray. Resistance phenotypes were determined by broth microdilution. Resistance genes were detected by DNA microarray or specific PCR assays. Selected isolates from broilers and humans (n=7) were analysed by whole genome mapping. On the same farm, isolates from chickens, broiler houses, the farm residences and humans were often closely related or indistinguishable. On three of the four farms, however, MRSA isolates with different characteristics were present. On the one hand, the apparent similarity of MRSA isolates from the same farm indicates transmission between broilers, humans and their environment. On the other hand, different MRSA isolates were present on the same farm, indicating introduction from different sources or diversification over time. This study shows that different typing methods should be used to investigate epidemiological links between isolates and that whole genome mapping can be a useful tool to establish these links.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-637
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • livestock-associated mrsa
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • prevalence
  • animals
  • poultry
  • pigs
  • personnel
  • origin
  • flocks
  • st398


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