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Vet Microbiol. 2017 Aug;207:103-107. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jun 6.

High occurrence of mecC-MRSA in wild hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Sweden.

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National Veterinary Institute (SVA), Sweden. Electronic address:
Swedish Animal Welfare Association, Sweden.
National Veterinary Institute (SVA), Sweden.


We investigated the occurrence of mecC-MRSA in wild hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Sweden and characterized the obtained isolates. Samples from 55 hedgehogs from five counties of Sweden were cultivated selectively for MRSA and putative isolates were confirmed by real-time PCR detecting mecA, mecC, nuc and PVL genes. mecC-MRSA was confirmed in 35 (64%) animals from three geographically separated counties. Confirmed isolates were spa-typed and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility by broth microdilution. Eight different spa-types were identified (t843, t978, t3391, t9111, t10751, t10893, t11015, t15312) of which t843 (49%) was the most common. The spa-types t843, t3391 and t978 were found in isolates from two counties. The study shows that mecC-MRSA is common in wild hedgehogs in two counties of Sweden but occurs in hedgehogs also in other parts of the country. Our findings suggest that hedgehogs could be a reservoir for mecC-MRSA. In addition, similar spa-types of isolates from hedgehogs and isolates previously described in domesticated animals and in humans indicates transfer between these populations.


MRSA; Methicillin resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; animal; hedgehog; mecC

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