Oxacillin-susceptible mecA-positive Staphylococcus Aureus Associated With Processed Food in Europe

Food Microbiol. 2019 Sep;82:107-110. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2019.01.021. Epub 2019 Jan 30.


We report for the first time an oxacillin-susceptible mecA-positive Staphylococcus aureus (OS-MRSA) associated with a processed food product in Europe. One isolate (MRSA-ST5-type V SCCmec) was found in cheese among 600 food samples confiscated from air passengers from international flights in Vienna Airport (Austria). Type V SCCmec strains do not harbor functional mecI-mecR1 genes and in such strains mecA expression is regulated by the bla system (blaI-blaR1-blaZ). It has been recently reported that malfunctions in the bla system lead to the constitutive expression of mecA. The OS-MRSA reported in this study harbored the bla system on a plasmid and one deletion occurred in the blaR1 gene causing a frameshift variant that lead to an incomplete BlaR1 protein. This finding highlights the potential role of food as a neglected route of dissemination of emerging MRSA variants.

Keywords: Food; MRSA; Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus; OS-MRSA; Oxacillin-susceptible mecA-positive Staphylococcus aureus.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Cheese / microbiology
  • Europe
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Food, Preserved / microbiology*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oxacillin / pharmacology*
  • Peptidyl Transferases / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • MecI protein, Staphylococcus
  • Repressor Proteins
  • mecR1 protein, Staphylococcus aureus
  • Peptidyl Transferases
  • Oxacillin