Molecular characterization and genetic diversity of Staphylococcus aureus isolates of dairy production farms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Bianca da Silva Soares
Cássia Couto da Motta
Nicolle Lima Barbieri
Dayanne Araújo de Melo
Marisol Alvim Gomez
Tatiani Abreu de Alencar
Irene da Silva Coelho
Shana de Mattos de Oliveira Coelho
Catherine Mary Logue
Miliane Moreira Soares de Souza


Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen involved in subclinical bovine mastitis, causing high economic losses for the dairy industry. The successful persistence of this pathogen in the host occurs due to a series of factors associated with colonization ability and the acquisition of virulence factors. This bacterial species carries genetic heterogeneity, and genetically diverse strains characterize the population. Analysis of the genetic variation is an important tool for epidemiological studies. For this study, S. aureus strains were randomly selected by molecular profiling. All strains were originated from the milk of cows of subclinical mastitis on farms in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Strains of S. aureus were profiled using virulence gene analysis profiles, agr and spa typing, Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), and Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST). 47% (8/17) of the tested strains were positive strains for icaA gene; 82.3% (14/17) for icaD gene; 41% (7/17) for fbnA gene; 47% (8/17) positive for fbnB gene; 94% (16/17) for the hlA gene and 70.5% (12/17) for hlB gene. These virulence results generated 11 different profiles. Most strains (58.8% - 10/17) were classified as type-II by agr system. spa typing identified seven different spa types. PFGE analysis found extensive genetic heterogeneity and no clones were observed. MLST analysis generated five different types of ST/CC. Considering the results observed at the present study, a high genetic variety of S. aureus strains associated of the presence of different virulence factors justified the absence of clonal strains at the properties evaluated. Besides, that, the definition of S. aureus clonal strain as well dynamic population in not fully understood since there are a limited number of studies in S. aureus associated with bovine mastitis.

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da Silva Soares, B. ., Couto da Motta, C. ., Lima Barbieri, N. ., Araújo de Melo, D. ., Alvim Gomez, M. ., Abreu de Alencar, T. ., da Silva Coelho, I. ., de Mattos de Oliveira Coelho, S. ., Mary Logue, C. ., & Moreira Soares de Souza, M. (2021). Molecular characterization and genetic diversity of Staphylococcus aureus isolates of dairy production farms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 43(1), e001120.
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