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Epidemiol Infect. 2001 Jun;126(3):445-52.

Genotypic analysis of Staphylococcus aureus from milk of dairy cows with mastitis in Argentina.

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Departamento de MicrobiologĂ­a, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Staphylococcus aureus is the most prevalent pathogen causing mastitis of dairy ruminants. This study was developed to ascertain the genotypes and genealogical relationship among strains isolated from milk of bovines with mastitis in Argentina. Molecular epidemiological analysis of S. aureus was performed on 112 isolates from 21 districts. Clonality was assessed by SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing, automated EcoRI ribotyping and restriction enzyme analysis of plasmid (REAP) DNA profiles. A total of 22 band patterns distributed in four clusters were found by SmaI PFGE analysis. The similarity of clusters 2, 3 and 4 with cluster 1 was 0.73, 0.69 and 0.33, respectively, and 101 of 112 isolates belonged in cluster 1. PFGE band patterns from 42 isolates within cluster I were indistinguishable from each other (type A). The second largest group of isolates with indistinguishable PFGE band patterns was subtype A11, which was composed of 19 isolates. Automated ribotyping assigned the 112 isolates into 13 ribotypes. Among these, the most prevalent ribotypes I and VI were composed of 49 and 35 isolates respectively. Although there was certain correspondence between PFGE genotypes and ribotypes, further discrimination was achieved by combining both methods. REAP DNA profile analysis was useful to provide even further discrimination between isolates with identical PFGE genotype and ribotype. The most prevalent S. aureus strains A/I and A11/VI were widely distributed in the country and were not restricted to individual nearby locations. Prevalence of these two strains varied consecutively within a period of 8 years. Whether the shift in type prevalence was due to selection of a phenotypic trait remains undisclosed.

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