Incidence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from ready-to-eat foods of animal origin from tourist destinations of North-western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, India

  • Priyanka Lakhanpal
  • Ashok Kumar PandaEmail author
  • Rajesh Chahota
  • Shivani Choudhary
  • Sidharath Dev Thakur
Short Communication


This study was aimed to determine the incidence of Staphylococcus aureus in ready-to-eat (RTE) milk (n = 120) and meat (n = 120) products from various tourist places in north western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, India. S. aureus isolates and its enterotoxins; A, B, D and E were characterized by conventional and molecular methods. Antimicrobial susceptibility (AMS) profiles of S. aureus isolates were determined by disk diffusion method using Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute criteria. Overall, 6.7% (n = 16/240) food samples were positive for S. aureus. PCR amplification of nucA confirmed all biochemically characterized isolates as S. aureus. Incidence of S. aureus was higher (10.0%) in RTE milk products than meat products (3.3%). S. aureus contamination levels were highest in milk cake/khoa (26.0%, p = 0.0002) followed by ice cream/kulfi (10.0%, p = 0.4), mutton momo (10.0%, p = 0.4), burfi (3.3%, p = 0.7) and chicken momo (3.3%, p = 0.7). None of the isolates carried genes for S. aureus enterotoxins; A, B, D and E. AMS testing revealed seven different resistance patterns and 81.3% multi drug resistance. All the isolates were resistant to ampicillin. High resistance levels were observed against methicillin (93.7%), clindamycin (68.8%), erythromycin (56.3%) and vancomycin (43.8%). Vancomycin resistant (n = 7) isolates were also resistant to methicillin. All isolates were susceptible to novobiocin.


Methicillin Vancomycin Novobiocin nucA gene Enterotoxin 



We are thankful to CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University for financial and infrastructure support for this research. The necessary help and technical support provided by Head, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Dr. GC Negi College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural is duly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interests.

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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priyanka Lakhanpal
    • 1
  • Ashok Kumar Panda
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajesh Chahota
    • 2
  • Shivani Choudhary
    • 1
  • Sidharath Dev Thakur
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology, Dr. GC Negi College of Veterinary and Animal SciencesCSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural UniversityPalampurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Dr. GC Negi College of Veterinary and Animal SciencesCSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural UniversityPalampurIndia

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