Staphylococcus aureus ST398 from slaughter pigs in northeast China

Xiaomei Yan, Xiaojie Yu, Xiaoxia Tao, Jianfeng Zhang, Binghua Zhang, Rui Dong, Chengyu Xue, Hajo Grundmann, Jianzhong Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


To describe the prevalence and population structure of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that colonize pigs at slaughterhouses in northeastern China, nose swabs were collected from pigs in two slaughterhouses in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China in 2009.S. aureus isolates were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, SCCmec typing, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and pvl gene detection. A total of 200S. aureus isolates were collected from 590 pigs (33.9%, 200/590), of which 162(81%, 162/200) were methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 38 (19%, 38/200) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Ninety-nine of the MSSA isolates (99/162,61.1%) were ST398, which represented the dominant sequence type overall. Eighty-seven isolates were ST9 (87/200, 43.5%), and all MRSA belonged to that sequence type which consisted of the spa types t899 and t2922. Among the MSSA strains, t034, t899 and t4358 were the most dominant spa types (139/162,85.8%). All MRSA isolates harbored SCCmec type IVb. The pvl gene was only detected in 3 ST7/t2119 MSSA isolates. All MRSA but more importantly also 82.7% (134/162) of the MSSA isolates were resistant to six or more antibiotics. Moreover, a novel resistance determinant-lsa(E) was identified among 22% (44/200) of all isolates. In conclusion, pigs in northeast China are frequently colonized with ST398 MSSA. MRSA with this sequence type, typically associated with pigs in Europe, was not found. High levels of multiple antibiotic resistance among MRSA isolates as well as MSSA isolates are a public health concern. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier GmbH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of medical microbiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - May-2014


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility
  • Livestock
  • ST398
  • MRSA

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