Detecting mecA in Faecal Samples: A Tool for Assessing Carriage of Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococci in Pets and Owners in the Microbiological ‘Fast Age’?

Siân-Marie Frosini*, Georgina Gallow, Amanda Gibson, Juliana Menezes, Constança Pomba, Anette Loeffler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Sampling animals for carriage of meticillin-resistant, coagulase-positive staphylococci (MRCoPS), considered zoonotic pathogens, can be challenging and time-consuming. Developing methods to identify mecA from non-invasive samples, e.g., faeces, would benefit AMR surveillance and management of MRS carrier animals. This study aimed to distinguish MRS carriers from non-carriers from faecal samples using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for mecA. Paired faecal and nasal swab samples (n = 86) were obtained from 13 dogs and 20 humans as part of a longitudinal study. Nasal MRCoPS carriage (either MR-Staphylococcus aureus or MR-Staphylococcus pseudintermedius was confirmed by identification of species (nuc) and meticillin resistance (mecA) (PCR). Faecal DNA (n = 69) was extracted and a qPCR method was optimised to provide a robust detection method. The presence of faecal mecA was compared between MRS carriers and non-carriers (Kruskal–Wallis test). Nasal swabbing identified seven canine and four human MRCoPS carriers. mecA was detected in 13/69 faecal samples, including four MRCoPS carriers and nine non-carriers. For dogs, there was no significant association (p = 1.000) between carrier status and mecA detection; for humans, mecA was more commonly detected in MRCoPS carriers (p = 0.047). mecA was detected in faeces of MRCoPS carriers and non-carriers by qPCR, but larger sample sizes are required to determine assay sensitivity. This rapid method enables passive surveillance of mecA in individuals and the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobiology Research
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Communication
  • MRSP
  • MRSA
  • surveillance

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