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Anim Biosci > Volume 34(4); 2021 > Article
Animal Products
Animal Bioscience 2021;34(4): 734-742.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.20.0660    Published online January 1, 2021.
Profiles of coagulase-positive and -negative staphylococci in retail pork: prevalence, antimicrobial resistance, enterotoxigenicity, and virulence factors
Gi Yong Lee1  , Soo-Jin Yang1,* 
School of Bioresources and Bioscience, Chung-Ang University, Anseong 17546, Korea
Correspondence:  Soo-Jin Yang, Tel: +82-31-670-3256, Fax: +82-31-675-1381, Email: soojin@cau.ac.kr
Received: 18 September 2020   • Revised: 5 December 2020   • Accepted: 16 December 2020
The present study aimed to investigate the occurrence and species of coagulasepositive staphylococci (CoPS) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) in retail pork meat samples collected during nationwide monitoring. The staphylococcal isolates were characterized for antimicrobial and zinc chloride resistance and enterotoxigenic potential.
A total of 260 pre-packaged pork meat samples were collected from 35 retail markets in 8 provinces in Korea for isolation of staphylococci. Antimicrobial and zinc chloride resistance phenotypes, and genes associated with the resistance phenotypes were determined on the isolates. Furthermore, the presence and distribution of 19 staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) genes and enterotoxin-like genes among the pork-associated staphylococci were determined by multiplex polymerase chain reaction-based assays using the specific primer sets.
A total of 29 staphylococcal strains (29/260, 11.1%) were isolated from samples of retail pork meat, 24 (83%) of which were CoNS. The four CoNS species identified were S. saprophyticus (n = 16, 55%), S. sciuri (n = 3, 10%), S. warneri (n = 3, 10%), and S. epidermidis (n = 2, 7%). Among the 29 isolates, four methicillin-resistant CoNS (MR-CoNS; three S. sciuri and one S. epidermidis) and one methicillin-resistant CoPS (MR-CoPS; one S. aureus) were identified. In addition, a relatively high level of tetracycline (TET) resistance (52%) was confirmed in CoNS, along with a predominant distribution of tet(K). The most prevalent SEs were sep (45%), and sen (28%), which were carried by 81% of S. saprophyticus.
These findings suggest that CoNS, especially S. saprophyticus strains, in raw pork meat could be a potential risk factor for staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP), and therefore, requires further investigation to elucidate the role of SEls in SFP and virulence of the pathogen. Our results also suggest that CoNS from raw pork meat may act as a source for transmission of antimicrobial resistance genes such as staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec and tet(K).
Keywords: Pork; Staphylococci; Antimicrobial Resistance; Staphylococcal Enterotoxins (SEs); Virulence Factors
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