Isolation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. from ready-to-eat fish products
AuthorSergelidis, D.; Abrahim, A.; Papadopoulos, T.; Soultos, N.; Martziou, E.; Koulourida, V.; Govaris, A.; Pexara, A.; Zdragas, A.; Papa, A.
A hundred samples from ready-to-eat (RTE) fish products were examined for the presence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus spp. Staphylococci were isolated from 43% of these samples (n=100). The identified species in the samples were Staphylococcus aureus (7%), Staphylococcus epidermidis (13%), Staphylococcus xylosus (12%), Staphylococcus sciuri (4%), Staphylococcus warneri (3%), Staphylococcus saprophyticus (2%), Staphylococcus schleiferi (1%) and Staphylococcus auricularis (1%). Two Staph.aureus (MRSA) isolates, three Staph.epidermidis (MRSE), five Staph.xylosus, four Staph.sciuri, one Staph.schleiferi and one Staph.saprophyticus isolates were resistant to oxacillin and all of them carried the mecA gene. The two MRSA isolates belonged to the spa types t316 (ST359) and t548 (ST5) and none of them was able to produce enterotoxins. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis for Staph.aureus and Staph.epidermidis isolates revealed 6 and 11 distinct PFGE types, respectively, reflecting diversity. The presence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci, especially MRSA and MRSE, in RTE fish products may constitute a potential health risk for consumers. Significance and Impact of the StudyThis study provides the first data on the occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci in salted and smoked fish products in Greece. These results are important and useful for Staphylococcus spp. risk assessment and management programmes for ready-to-eat fish products.