Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in broilers and workers at ‘pluck shops’ in Trinidad
Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) is a cause of zoonotic infections in many countries. People with occupational contact with food animal production are at risk of colonization. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of MRSA and their frequency of resistance to other antimicrobial agents from broilers and workers at the ‘pluck shops’ in Trinidad. For isolation of MRSA, choanal, cloacal and pharyngeal swabs taken from broilers and nasal swabs from humans were enriched then plated on CHROMagar MRSA and Brilliance MRSA. MRSA was confirmed using the PBP2a test kit, resistance to oxacillin and cefoxitin and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the mecA gene. Antimicrobial resistance of the MRSA isolates to 16 antimicrobial agents was determined using the disc diffusion method. Of the 287 broilers and 47 humans sampled, MRSA was isolated at a frequency of 2 (0.7%) and 0 (0.0%) respectively. All the MRSA isolates exhibited resistance to one or more of the 16 antimicrobial agents. The study demonstrated that broilers at ‘pluck shops’ in Trinidad harbor MRSA. This is the first isolation of MRSA from poultry in Trinidad, West Indies, and this finding is of public health significance since occupational exposure of humans can lead to increased risk of acquiring MRSA infections.
KeywordsMRSA Antimicrobial resistance Broilers Workers Trinidad
The authors would like to acknowledge the public health inspectors who assisted on the field and the ‘pluck shop’ workers who willingly gave their samples.
This study was funded by the School of Graduate studies, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus (grant number CRP.5.MAR13.2).
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution, The University of the West Indies.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from each individual participant included in the study.
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