Original Research

Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 573-579

First online:

Panton–Valentine leukocidin and some exotoxins of Staphylococcus aureus and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of staphylococci isolated from milks of small ruminants

  • Nilgün ÜnalAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Kirikkale University Email author 
  • , Şinasi AskarAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Kirikkale University
  • , Hasan Ceyhun MacunAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Gynecology, Kirikkale University
  • , Fatma SakaryaAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Kirikkale University
  • , Belgin AltunAffiliated withFaculty of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Hacettepe University
  • , Murat YıldırımAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Microbiology, Kirikkale University

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The aims of this study were to determine the existence of pvl gene, some toxin genes, and mecA gene in Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from sheep milk and to examine antimicrobial resistance profiles in staphylococci from sheep and goats' milk. The milk samples were collected from 13 different small ruminant farms in Kirikkale province from February to August 2009. A total of 1,604 half-udder milk samples from 857 ewes and 66 half-udder milk samples from 33 goats were collected. Staphylococcus spp. were isolated and identified from the samples. Toxin genes and mecA gene among S. aureus strains were determined by PCR. Antimicrobial susceptibility of staphylococci was examined by the disk diffusion method on Mueller-Hinton agar, and interpreted according to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines. The prevalence of subclinical intramammary infection in both ewes and goats was 5.2%. The most prevalent subclinical mastitis agents were coagulase-negative staphylococci and S. aureus with prevalences 2.8% (n:46) and 1.3% (n = 21), respectively. The prevalence of resistances in isolated Staphylococcus spp. to penicilin G, tetracycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, and enrofloxacin were found as 26.9% (18), 7.5% (5), 6.0% (4), 3.0% (2), and 1.5% (1), respectively. Only 3 of the 21 S. aureus ewe isolates (13.4%) were shown to harbor enterotoxin genes being either seh, sej or sec. However, fourteen (66.6%) of the 21 S. aureus isolates had pvl gene while none of the isolates harbored mecA gene. In conclusion, Staphylococci were shown to be the most prevalent bacteria isolated from subclinical mastitis of ewes and goats and these isolates were susceptible to most of the antibiotics. In addition, S. aureus strains isolated from ewes were harboring few staphylococcal enterotoxin genes. However, Panton–Valentine leukocidin produced by S. aureus could be an important virulence factor and contribute to subclinical mastitis pathogenicity.


Antimicrobial resistance Enterotoxins Mastitis mecA Sheep Staphylococcus aureus Panton–Valentine leukocidin