Comparison of phenotypic and genotypic antimicrobial resistance patterns associated with Staphylococcus aureus mastitis in German and Danish dairy cows

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Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common pathogens associated with bovine mastitis in Germany and Denmark. Successful therapy is strongly linked to the susceptibility of the pathogen to the administered antimicrobial. An increase in resistant pathogens in human and veterinary medicine has become a concern worldwide and hampers therapy due to reduced susceptibility. In the present study, susceptibility testing was performed for 85 and 93 S. aureus isolates originating from mastitis cases on 12 German and 8 Danish dairy farms, respectively. Phenotypic examination was performed by detection of minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values using the broth microdilution method, followed by genotypic investigations of the blaZ and mecA resistance genes via PCR. The tested antimicrobials were the most frequently used β-lactams in German and Danish dairy farms, including cefquinome, cefoperazone, cephapirin, penicillin, oxacillin, cloxacillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, and cephalexin-kanamycin. Special attention was paid to varying therapy concepts because, in Germany, third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins have been predominantly used in mastitis therapy, whereas in Denmark, restrictive use of penicillin is followed by a general avoidance of cephalosporins. Differences in MIC values were mainly based on determined MIC90 values (MIC at which 90% of isolates are inhibited). In general, Danish S. aureus isolates were inhibited at comparatively lower MIC90 values than S. aureus isolated from German dairy farms for most β-lactams. No differences were observed regarding cefquinome, because both German and Danish isolates exhibited MIC50 and MIC90 values of 0.5 and 1 µg/mL, respectively. In contrast, the MIC90 for penicillin against German and Danish S. aureus were 0.5 and ≤0.06 µg/mL, respectively. Resistance genes (blaZ, mecA) were only detected in German S. aureus isolates on 3 dairy farms in Germany. A total of 5 isolates tested positive for both blaZ and mecA, whereas 1 isolate carried the blaZ resistance gene only. A direct correlation between frequently used antimicrobials and reduced susceptibility could not be determined based on results of the present study. In addition to further research to determine factors associated with resistance development, we emphasize the urgent need for internationally standardized clinical breakpoints to assess resistance situations more accurately.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)3554-3564
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • blaZ, mastitis, mecA, minimum inhibitory concentration, Staphylococcus aureus

ID: 237960399