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This study was to estimate the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from 500 retail meat products in South Italy from June 2016 to June 2018, including 150 raw bovine, 120 pork, 150 chicken and 80 horse meat.
After bacteriological analysis, 12 (2.4%) samples were positive for MRSA. Isolates were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility, spa typing and MLST. MRSA were also investigated by PCR for the presence of enterotoxins, lukF-PV-lukS-PV and icaA-icaD genes. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that MRSA isolates were multidrug resistant. One strain harboured PVL-encoding genes (8.3%). Seven MRSA isolates of 12 (58.3%) carried seh enterotoxin encoding gene. The icaA and icaD genes were both present in 10 isolates (83.3%).
MRSA isolates in retail meat may represent a potential source of exposure to MRSA for humans and monitoring of food-producing animals and strictly hygiene standards should be carefully considered throughout the entire meat chain to ensure food safety.