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Published Online: 3 February 2015

Nasal Carriage of mecA-Positive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Pigs Exhibits Dose–Response to Zinc Supplementation

Publication: Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Volume 12, Issue Number 2

Abstract

Zinc (Zn) is often supplemented at elevated concentrations in swine diets, particularly in piglets, to prevent enteric infections and promote growth. Previous studies from Denmark have suggested a genetic linkage and a phenotypic association between Zn resistance, encoded by czrC, and methicillin-resistance conferred by mecA in Staphylococcus aureus. Such an association has not been reported in the U.S. swine population. We conducted an analysis of the effects of Zn, supplemented as zinc oxide (ZnO), on the nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in nursery (n=40) and finisher pigs (n=40) enrolled in a nutritional study. Nasal swabs, collected from nursery and finisher pigs, were inoculated onto MRSA CHROMagar and presumptive MRSA colonies were tested for the presence of mecA and czrC genes by polymerase chain reaction. Zinc susceptibility was determined by the agar dilution method. The prevalence of mecA-positive MRSA was 10% (4/40) and 20% (8/40) among nursery and finisher pigs, respectively. Of the 12 mecA-positive S. aureus isolates, 7 had the czrC gene (58.3%) compared to none among the 68 mecA-negative isolates. The presence of both mecA (p=0.002) and czrC (p=0.006) genes were positively associated with higher levels of Zn supplementation. The median minimum inhibitory concentrations of Zn for czrC-positive and czrC-negative isolates were 12 and 2 mM, respectively (p<0.0001). The link between czrC and mecA genes suggests the importance of elevated Zn supplementation in the co-selection and propagation of methicillin resistance among S. aureus in pigs.

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cover image Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Volume 12Issue Number 2February 2015
Pages: 159 - 163
PubMed: 25551258

History

Published online: 3 February 2015
Published in print: February 2015
Published ahead of print: 31 December 2014

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Raghavendra G. Amachawadi
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Harvey M. Scott
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Sureemas Nitikanchana
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Javier Vinasco
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Mike D. Tokach
Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Steve S. Dritz
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Jim L. Nelssen
Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Robert D. Goodband
Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
Tiruvoor G. Nagaraja
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.

Notes

Contribution no. 13-354-J from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.
Address correspondence to:Harvey M. Scott, DVM, PhDDepartment of Veterinary PathobiologyCollege of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical SciencesTexas A&M UniversityMail Stop 4467College Station, TX 77843E-mail: [email protected]

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No competing financial interests exist.

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