Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Detection of three distinct genetic lineages in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates from animals and veterinary personnel

Y. ABBOTTa1 c1, F. C. LEONARDa1 and B. K. MARKEYa1

a1 Veterinary Sciences, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland


This study involved the phenotypic and molecular characterization of a population of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from animals and from veterinary personnel in Ireland. Isolates from 77 animals (dogs, n=44; cats, n=4; horses, n=29) and from 28 veterinary personnel were characterized using their antimicrobial resistance profiles and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns. In addition, a representative number of these isolates (n=52) were further analysed using spa-typing techniques. The results obtained identified the presence of three distinct clonal complexes, CC5, CC8 and CC22, in both animal and human isolates. Two of these clonal complexes, CC8 and CC22, respectively, have been previously described in animals in Ireland but the presence of the third complex CC5 is a novel finding. The significance of this development, in relation to human and animal healthcare, is discussed.

(Accepted December 03 2009)

(Online publication January 29 2010)


c1 Author for correspondence: Ms. Y. Abbott, Chief Technical Officer, Diagnostic Bacteriology Laboratory, Veterinary Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. (Email: Yvonne.Abbott@ucd.ie)