Dissemination, antibiotic susceptibility, proteomic and genomic characterization of antibiotic-resistant staphylococci recovered from general public settings
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Staphylococci are opportunistic pathogens responsible for a range of infections. Many staphylococcal species are frequently found to be resistant to antibiotics. The environment is considered a potential reservoir of genes conferring antibiotic resistance, which known as the ‘resistomes’. Monitoring the dissemination of antibiotic resistant staphylococci is instrumental to mitigating this global health risk. The overall aim of this study was to generate informative data regarding dissemination of antibiotic resistance in environmental and public settings. This included looking into the distribution, epidemiology characteristic and transfer of oxacillin resistant determinant mecA; gaining an insight into genomic features that contribute to multiple antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity of one S. epidermidis isolate; and understanding the stress responses in mediating oxacillin resistance in S. aureus. The use of MALDI-TOF MS allowed identification of staphylococci to species level. MALDI-TOF MS data were used for taxonomic analysis of staphylococci, and taxonomic data were then combined with isolation sites and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles to aid the understanding of dissemination of environmental resistant staphylococci. The widespread dissemination of antibiotic resistant staphylococci in the environment was demonstrated. 12% of staphylococci harboured mecA gene. Community associated SCCmec types IV and V were more prevalent than nosocomial associated SCCmec types I, II, and III in the environment. 52% of SCCmec were non-typable. In addition, 14 new environmental S. epidermidis MLST types were reported. 9 antibiotic resistant determinants that were responsible for the resistant to 7 antimicrobial classes have been identified in environmental S. epidermidis 118 (G6_2). Proteomic analysis revealed that stress responses, including SOS response, stringent response and heat shock response, mediate oxacillin resistance in S. aureus. These results demonstrate widespread multiple drug resistance in different staphylococcal species isolated from non-healthcare environments. This uncontrolled dissemination of multidrug resistant bacteria poses a potential public health threats.
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