Staphylococcus aureus mainly Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) is a life-threatening infection that occurring in food and caused a public health concern. This study designed to examine the prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA in different types of processed food. Food samples were screened for the recovered strains of S. aureus and MRSA, and they were examined for antimicrobial susceptibility and by molecular characterization of mecA and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec(SCCmec). Detection of virulence factors like Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL), Staphylococcus aureus protein A(spa) and Staphylococcal enterotoxins(SEs) by PCR using specific primers. Among the 150 collected processed food samples, 62.7% were contaminated by S. aureus bacteria, 56.4% of which were proved as MRSA. 17% of MRSA isolates were positive for mecA genes with the SCCmec type IVb and V (11.1% each) as the solely existing types of SCCmec. None of the MRSA isolates carried mecC or mecB genes. Most of MRSA isolates were multidrug resistance and 33.3% of MRSA-mecA positive isolates also carried vancomycin resistance genes (i.e., vanB). In addition, spa gene was found among 7.5% of MRSA isolates; none of which were positive for PVL gene. Further, there were variant presence of SEs among MRSA isolates and the highest presence was from type SEH (49.1%). Generally, our results confirmed that processed foods in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) are potential vehicles for multidrug resistant S. aureus and MRSA transmission; which are serious public health risks, and underlined the need for good hygiene practices.
MRSA, processed foods, multidrug resistance, mecA, CA-MRSA, LA-MRSA
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