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In order to gain a deeper insight into the phylogenetic background and diversity of methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) of animal origin, genetic relationships and clonal distribution among 146 European MRSP were examined using different molecular and phenotypical typing approaches. MRSP strains were derived from clinical microbiological specimens (mainly of small animal origin) sent in for diagnostic purposes from various veterinary facilities between 2005 and 2008. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of SmaI-macrorestriction fragments allowed differentiation of five PFGE-clusters that were subdivided into further distinct subtypes. Representatives of each PFGE subtype were analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) for assignment of sequence types (ST). With one exception (ST5), all these MRSP strains belonged to ST71. Furthermore, assessment of spa-typing results revealed that the majority of all strains harboured spa type t02. Further sporadically detected spa types t05 and t06 as well as two new types (t15 and t23), were found to be closely related to t02. According to PCR-based SCCmec-typing, SCCmecIII was the most prevalent type (n=138), and solely one non-typeable variant was identified in several strains (n=8). In addition, all strains were tested positive by PCR for the leukotoxin encoding operon LukI and the Staphylococcus intermedius-exfoliative toxin (SIET), respectively. Our cumulative data indicate a recent emergence of a certain multidrug-resistant MRSP-lineage (ST71) in central and southern European countries during the last few years.