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Vet Microbiol. 2006 Oct 31;117(2-4):304-12. Epub 2006 May 23.

Characteristics of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from chicken meat and hospitalized dogs in Korea and their epidemiological relatedness.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important pathogens in human and veterinary hospitals. The isolation of MRSA from animals and foodstuffs has been reported with an increased incidence. However, methicillin (oxacillin) is not used in animal husbandry or in animal hospitals in Korea. In this study, three pre-MRSA and one silent mecA-carrying methicillin susceptible S. aureus (smMSSA) were isolated from retail chicken meat, and three MRSA were isolated from hospitalized dogs in Korea. The three pre-MRSA isolates were determined to have a staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type III, and the smMSSA isolate was not classified. The animal hospital isolates were found to contain SCCmec type II. Seven and 15 S. aureus isolated from hospitalized humans and bovine milk, respectively, were also examined in this study in order to determine the epidemiological origins of MRSA. Multilocus sequencing typing (MLST) revealed that the chicken meat and bovine milk isolates were closely related to the animal hospital isolates. The SCCmec characteristics and MLST analyses indicated the possibility of the human to animal transmission of MRSA. These results highlight the importance of identifying MRSA carriers as well as intercepting MRSA transmission because MRSA is becoming increasingly widespread without any plausible relationship with the use of methicillin (oxacillin).

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