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J Appl Microbiol. 2009 Oct;107(4):1375-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04322.x. Epub 2009 Apr 18.

Diversity of staphylococcal cassette chromosome in coagulase-negative staphylococci from animal sources.

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Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA.



To type the staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) in coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) from animal sources.


A total of 92 CoNS isolates recovered from farm animals was analysed. The top three staphylococcal species were Staphylococcus lentus (34), S. sciuri (31), and S. xylosus (13). The presence of the cassette chromosome recombinase (ccr) genes ccrA1, ccrB1, ccrA2, ccrB2, ccrA3, ccrB3 and ccrC, the mec regulatory genes mecI and mecR1, and Tn554 was used to differentiate the SCC. A total of 60 of the 92 isolates were methicillin resistant. Among the 60 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. isolates, SCCmec (mecA-carrying SCC) types I, III, IV and V were identified in 24 isolates based on the combinations of the ccr genes and the mec regulatory genes, with type III being predominant. The single S. epidermidis carried SCCmec type IV. SCC type III was also identified in two of 32 methicillin-susceptible isolates. Identical SCCmec types were present in different species of CoNS. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) generated 64 patterns out of 81 PFGE typeable isolates. Indistinguishable clones were detected in animals from different farms.


Heterogeneous SCC existed in CoNS of diverse genetic background. Both clonal transmission of methicillin-resistant CoNS and horizontal transfer of SCCmec occurred in the animal production environment.


This study adds to our knowledge of SCCmec type and the diversity of SCC in CoNS.

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