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Title: Staphylococci among Wild European Rabbits from the Azores: A Potential Zoonotic Issue?
Authors: Sousa, Margarida
Silva, Vanessa
Silva, Adriana
Silva, Nuno
Ribeiro, Jessica
Tejedor Junco, María Teresa 
Capita, Rosa
Chenouf, Nadia Safia
Alonso-Calleja, Carlos
Rodrigues, Tiago M.
LeitÃo, Manuel
GonÇalves, David
CaniÇa, Manuela
Torres, Carmen
Igrejas, Gilberto
Poeta, PatrÍcia
UNESCO Clasification: 310907 Patología
310905 Microbiología
Keywords: Oryctolagus Cuniculus
Staphylococcus Spp.
Antimicrobial Agents
Wild Rabbit
Issue Date: 2020
Journal: Journal of Food Protection 
Abstract: The prevalence and diversity of Staphylococcus species from wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Azores were investigated, and the antibiotic resistance phenotype and genotype of the isolates were determined. Nasal samples from 77 wild European rabbits from São Jorge and São Miguel islands in Azores were examined. Antibiotic susceptibility of the isolates was determined using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method, and the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors was determined by PCR. The genetic lineages of S. aureus isolates were characterized by spa typing and multilocus sequence typing. A total of 49 staphylococci were obtained from 35 of the 77 wild rabbits. Both coagulase-positive (8.2%) and coagulase-negative (91.8%) staphylococci were detected: 4 S. aureus, 17 S. fleurettii, 13 S. sciuri, 7 S. xylosus, 4 S. epidermidis, and 1 each of S. simulans, S. saprophyticus, S. succinus, and S. equorum. The four S. aureus isolates showed methicillin susceptibility and were characterized as spa type t272/CC121, Panton-Valentine leukocidin negative, and hlB positive. Most of the coagulase-negative staphylococci showed resistance to fusidic acid and beta-lactams, and multidrug resistance was identified especially among S. epidermidis isolates. The mecA gene was detected in 20 isolates of the species S. fleurettii and S. epidermidis, associated with the blaZ gene in one S. epidermidis isolate. Five antimicrobial resistance genes were detected in one S. epidermidis isolate (mecA,dfrA,dfrG,aac6'-aph2'', and ant4). Our results highlight that wild rabbits are reservoirs or "temporary hosts" of Staphylococcus species with zoonotic potential, some of them carrying relevant antimicrobial resistances.
DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-19-423
Source: Journal of food protection [EISSN 1944-9097], v. 83 (7), p. 1110-1114, (Julio 2020)
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