+49 30 838 51840 / 51843
Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) have been reported in various countries worldwide. However, although China is one of the biggest pig and pork producers, large-scale studies on pig-associated LA-MRSA from China are scarce. The aims of this study were to analyze 2420 non-duplicate samples collected from pigs at swine farms and slaughterhouses in different regions in China during 2014 for the prevalence of pig-associated MRSA and to determine the antimicrobial resistance pheno- and genotypes of the respective isolates. MRSA isolates were identified in 270 (11.2%) samples. The isolates were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and screening for resistance genes. All MRSA isolates belonged to the clonal complex 9 and spa type t899, but showed variable PFGE patterns. All isolates were non-susceptible to oxacillin, cefoxitin, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, florfenicol, ciprofloxacin, and valnemulin. High rates of resistance were also observed for tetracycline (99.6%), erythromycin (97.0%), quinupristin-dalfopristin (97.0%), and gentamicin (80.4%). Three linezolid-non-susceptible isolates containing the multi-resistance gene cfr and nine rifampicin-non-susceptible isolates with mutations in rpoB were detected. Resistance to β-lactams was exclusively associated with mecA, while phenicol resistance was mainly attributable to fexA, except in the three cfr-positive isolates. The pleuromutilin-lincosamide-streptogramin A resistance gene lsa(E) was identified in all MRSA isolates, and no other pleuromutilin resistance genes, except cfr in three isolates, were detected. Pigs are the most important hosts of LA-MRSA in China. Screening for pig-associated MRSA is necessary to monitor changes in epidemiology and characteristics of these important pathogens.