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Antibiotic resistance profiles of Staphylococcus spp. from white button mushrooms and handlers

Antibiotic resistance profiles of Staphylococcus spp. from white button mushrooms and handlers

Duvenage, Stacey ORCID: 0000-0002-5984-1491, Rossouw, Werner, Villamizar-Rodríguez, Germán, Du Plessis, Erika and Korsten, Lise (2021) Antibiotic resistance profiles of Staphylococcus spp. from white button mushrooms and handlers. South African Journal of Science. ISSN 0038-2353 (Print), 1996-7489 (Online) (In Press)

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The presence of Staphylococcus spp. has increasingly been reported in food products which poses a public health threat. However, information on the antibiotic resistance (AR) profiles and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) of these organisms within the fresh produce supply chain in South Africa is available. The aim of this study was to determine the diversity of Staphylococcus spp. and the AR profiles of isolates obtained from freshly harvested and packed ready-to-eat mushrooms (n=432) and handlers’ hands (n=150). A total of 56 Staphylococcus isolates [46.4% (n= 26) from hands and 53.6% (n= 30) from mushrooms] were recovered belonging to ten species. Staphylococcus succinus isolates (n=21) were the most prevalent, of which 52.4% came from mushrooms and 47.6% from hands. This was followed by S. equorum isolates [n=12; 91.7% (n=11) from mushrooms and (n=1) 8.3% from hands] and S. saprophyticus [n= 9; 66.7% (n=6) from mushrooms and 33.3% (n=3) from hands]. Six isolates that were characterised as multidrug resistant, were isolated from hands of handlers. Most (83.9%; n=47) of the 56 isolates were resistant to penicillin [53.2% (n=25) from mushrooms and 46.8% (n=22) from hands] and 14.3% (n=8) were resistant to cephalosporin classes [25% (n=2) from mushrooms and 75% (n=6) from hands], both of which are used to treat staphylococcal infections. Antibiotic resistance genes blaZ [25.0% (n=14) of all isolates of which 71.4% (n=10) were from hands and 28.57% (n=4) from mushrooms), tetL [1.8%( n=1) from hands], tetK [1.8% (n=1) from hands], mecA [5.4% (n=3) from hands] and ermA [1.8% (n=1) from mushrooms] were detected from the 56 isolates. Only a quarter [25.0% (n=2)] of the eight methicillin-resistant staphylococci harboured the mecA gene, while only 23% (n=11) of the 47 penicillin resistant isolates harboured the blaZ gene [36.4% (n=4) from mushrooms and 63.6% (n=7) from hands]. Our results demonstrated that food handlers and harvested and packed ready-to-eat mushrooms, could be a source of diverse Staphylococcus spp. that exhibit antimicrobial resistance and harbour ARGs. Clinically relevant S. aureus was only detected on one handler’s hand, however the isolate was not multidrug resistant. The presence of diverse Staphylococcus spp. on mushrooms and the hands of handlers is a potential public health concern due to their potential to cause opportunistic infections. The presence of ARGs further compounds the problem, because they act as a reservoir of resistance associated with fresh produce which could be transferred to medically important organisms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Staphylococci, antibiotic genes, antibiotic resistance
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RV Botanic, Thomsonian, and eclectic medicine
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2021 15:00
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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