Background: The objectives of this study were to characterize the diversity and magnitude of antimicrobial resistance among Staphylococcus species recovered from imported beef meat sold in the Egyptian market and the potential mechanisms underlying the antimicrobial resistance phenotypes including harboring of resistance genes (mecA, cfr, gyrA, gyrB, and grlA) and biofilm formation.
Results: The resistance gene mecA was detected in 50% of methicillin-resistant non-Staphylococcus aureus isolates (4/8). Interestingly, our results showed that: (i) resistance genes mecA, gyrA, gyrB, grlA, and cfr were absent in Staphylococcus hominis and Staphylococcus hemolyticus isolates, although S. hominis was phenotypically resistant to methicillin (MR-non-S. aureus) while S. hemolyticus was resistant to vancomycin only; (ii) S. aureus isolates did not carry the mecA gene (100%) and were phenotypically characterized as methicillin- susceptible S. aureus (MSS); and (iii) the resistance gene mecA was present in one isolate (1/3) of Staphylococcus lugdunensis that was phenotypically characterized as methicillin-susceptible non-S. aureus (MSNSA).
Conclusions: Our findings highlight the potential risk for consumers, in the absence of actionable risk management information systems, of imported foods and advice a strict implementation of international standards by different venues such as CODEX to avoid the increase in prevalence of coagulase positive and coagulase negative Staphylococcus isolates and their antibiotic resistance genes in imported beef meat at the Egyptian market.
Keywords: Antibiotic resistance genes; Coagulase-negative staphylococci; Coagulase-positive staphylococci; Imported beef meat.