Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in different free-living wild animal species in Spain

M. Concepción Porrero, Gregorio Mentaberre, Sergio Sánchez, Pedro Fernández-Llario, Susana Gómez-Barrero, Nora Navarro-Gonzalez, Emmanuel Serrano, Encarna Casas-Díaz, Ignasi Marco, José Francisco Fernández-Garayzabal, Ana Mateos, Dolors Vidal, Santiago Lavín, Lucas Domínguez

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a life-threatening pathogen in humans and its presence in animals is a public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRSA in free-living wild animals. Samples from red deer (n= 273), Iberian ibex (n= 212), Eurasian Griffon vulture (n= 40) and wild boar (n= 817) taken from different areas in Spain between June 2008 and November 2011 were analyzed. Characterization of the isolates was performed by spa typing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A low prevalence of MRSA was found with 13 isolates obtained from 12 animals (0.89%; 95% CI: 0.46-1.56). All MRSA sequence types belonged to ST398 (t011 and t1451) and ST1 (t127). Genotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns (tetracycline resistance in ST398 and clindamycin-erythromycin-tetracycline resistance in ST1) suggest that the MRSA found probably originated in livestock (ST398) or humans (ST1). This is the first report of MRSA carriers in free-living wild animals in Europe. Although our data showed that MRSA prevalence is currently low, free-living wild animals might act as reservoir and represent a potential risk for human health. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-130
JournalVeterinary Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • MLST
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Spa typing
  • Wildlife


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