Food animals are potential reservoirs of antibiotic resistant staphylococci which pose a significant threat to food security and public health.

Staphylococcus species are adaptable commensals usually involved in a diverse multiplicity of ailments in animals and humans. E.O. Igbinosa of the Applied Microbial Processes & Environmental Health Research Group, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Nigeria carried out this study to surveyed the occurrence, antibiotic-resistance profile and putative resistant genetic elements of staphylococci isolates from apparently healthy farm animals.

He collected a total of 400 Nasal and rectal samples from cows and pigs in Benin City between May and December 2017. Staphylococci were isolated following aerobic cultures of samples using standard microbiological methods. Susceptibility profiles of the isolates to eighteen selected antimicrobials were determined using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion test. Species of staphylococci were established and antibiotic resistance genes detected by the polymerase chain reaction using species-specific and antibiotic-resistant primers respectively.

His study results show that a total of 139 staphylococci isolates were phenotypically and genotypically identified from the food-producing animals; 87 (62.6%) from pigs and 52 (37.4%) from cows. The most frequent Staphylococcus species were Staphylococcus haemolyticus 38 (27.3%), Staphylococcus aureus 27 (19.4%) and Staphylococcus capitis 21 (15.1%). Antibiotic resistance profile showed 120 (86.3%) isolates to be resistant to penicillin G, 100 (71.9%) to nalidixic acid and 99 (71.2%) to minocycline. The prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes assessed were mecA 78 (56.1%), mphC 23 (16.6%), and ermA 20 (14.4%).
His findings therefore indicated that food animals are potential reservoirs of antibiotic resistant staphylococci which pose a significant threat to food security and public health.

Thank you for reading