STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS ISOLATES FROM CAMELS DIFFER IN COAGULASE PRODUCTION, GENOTYPE AND METHICILLIN RESISTANCE GENE PROFILES

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June – July 2013, vol. 2, no. 6
pages: 2455-2461
Article type: Microbiology of Microbiology
Abstract: Accurate and rapid typing of S. aureus is crucial to the control of its infections and minimizing its leakage to the food chain. The primary purpose of this research was to isolate S. aureus from camels’ meat and nasal swabs and to characterize the isolates for coagulase production and the presence of methicillin gene using PCR-RFLP of coagulase gene. A total of 264 camel’s meat and nasal swabs were collected from abattoirs or meat markets and were used in the study. Ninety two percent of samples showed typical colonies of S. aureus on Baird-Parker agar with a mean count 2.5 × 104 ± 1.8 × 104 CFU g-1. Upon confirmation of the isolates using S. aureus specific thermonuclease gene (nuc) PCR primers, only 64 isolates contained the specific product and thus were confirmed as S. aureus. However, when tested for the presence of coagulase gene, only 48 of them were positive while the other 16 were coagulase negative. Coagulase gene-RFLP revealed 19 distinct patterns when the gene was digested with Alu I and Cfo I. The typing revealed that the 48 classified isolates were genetically diverse and comprised a heterogeneous population with 14 genotypes at a 44.4% similarity level. When the coagulase positive isolates were tested for the presence of methicillin resistance (mec A) gene, 37 of the isolates were positive while the other 11 isolates were negative. The high heterogeneity among S. aureus isolates might be due to cross contamination between camel carcasses in slaughter houses and from handlers and their utensils.

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