Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus in Goose Feces from State Parks in Northeast Ohio

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus can colonize a range of species. Although numerous studies have isolated pathogenic bacteria from wild birds, very little is known regarding S. aureus and their potential to spread methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains. The objective of this study was to determine the presence and molecular characteristics of S. aureus in geese fecal samples collected from ten state parks across Northeast Ohio (NEO). A total of 182 fecal samples from Canada geese (Branta canadensis) were collected in April 2015. Isolates were characterized using multi-locus sequence (MLST) and spa typing, as well as PCR to detect the presence of Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL), mecA, and scn genes. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was done via Vitek-2 system. The overall contamination by S. aureus in fecal samples was 7.1% (13/182); 7/182 (3.8%) were MRSA and 6/182 (3.3%) were methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). One isolate was positive for PVL. A total of eight different spa types were observed. MLST included ST5, ST8, ST291, ST298, and ST2111. One (7.7%) MSSA isolate was multi-drug resistant. The S. aureus contamination in NEO state parks ranged from 0% (park 1, 4, 8, 9) to 35% (7/20) (park 5). Parks 2, 3, 6, and 7 had 5% (1/20) positive. The results of this study indicate that the feces of geese collected at various state parks in NEO may harbor S. aureus.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by Kent State University start-up funds to Tara C Smith, Ph.D.

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Correspondence to Tara C. Smith.

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Thapaliya, D., Dalman, M., Kadariya, J. et al. Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus in Goose Feces from State Parks in Northeast Ohio. EcoHealth 14, 303–309 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-017-1227-z

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Keywords

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • MRSA
  • State parks
  • Northeast Ohio
  • Geese
  • Feces