Zinc resistance within swine-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates in the United States is associated with multilocus sequence type lineage

Samantha J. Hau, Timothy Frana, Jisun Sun, Peter R. Davies, Tracy L. Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Zinc resistance in livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) sequence type 398 (ST398) is primarily mediated by the czrC gene colocated with the mecA gene, encoding methicillin resistance, within the type V staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) element. Because czrC and mecA are located within the same mobile genetic element, it has been suggested that the use of zinc in feed as an antidiarrheal agent has the potential to contribute to the emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in swine, through increased selection pressure to maintain the SCCmec element in isolates obtained from pigs. In this study, we report the prevalence of the czrC gene and phenotypic zinc resistance in U.S. swine-associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates, MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, and U.S. swine-associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. We demonstrated that the prevalence of zinc resistance in U.S. swineassociated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates was significantly lower than the prevalence of zinc resistance in MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact and swineassociated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates, as well as prevalences from previous reports describing zinc resistance in other LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. Collectively, our data suggest that selection pressure associated with zinc supplementation in feed is unlikely to have played a significant role in the emergence of LA-MRSA ST5 in the U.S. swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is associated with the multilocus sequence type lineage, suggesting a potential link between the genetic lineage and the carriage of resistance determinants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00756-17
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Volume83
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

Keywords

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Zinc resistance

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