Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has remained a leading cause of hospital and community infections. We report a retrospective molecular characterization of S. aureus strains from different settings: hospital workers and patients, veterinarian surgeons, and pets.
Methods: Eighty-nine isolates positive for S. aureus [9 pets, 53 veterinarians, 10 patients and 17 healthcare workers (HCWs)], were investigated. Repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (Rep PCR) and whole-genome sequencing were performed in 89 strains collected from patients and 27 HCWs, pets and 62 veterinarians.
Results: Thirteen different sequence types (STs) were detected: ST398, ST22, ST8, ST30, ST15, ST5, ST121, ST45, ST10, ST6, ST34, ST97 and ST1. Two new STs differing from ST22 and ST5 for a single multilocus sequence typing gene were also identified. Rep PCR documented a relationship in pattern for 5 veterinarians and 10 HCWs.
Conclusion: The diversity of isolates detected may reflect a larger epidemiology within the hospital and community, in which companion animals have a reservoir role. ST5, ST8, ST15, ST22, ST30, ST45 and ST121 were reported in an Italian hospital. Starting from the idea of a unique setting where our population lives, we consider the relationship between community- and hospital-acquired S. aureus.
Key words: S. aureus, multilocus sequence typing, single nucleotide polymorphims, pets, veterinarians , healthcare workers