Genomic Characterization and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Dromedary-Associated Staphylococcaceae from the Horn of Africa

in: Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2022)
Kuhnert, Peter; Monecke, Stefan; Drexler, Jan; Akarsu, Hatice; Liljander, Anne; Younan, Mario; Brodard, Isabelle; Overesch, Gudrun; Glücks, Ilona; Labroussaa, Fabien; Perreten, Vincent; Corman, Victor Max; Falquet, Laurent; Jores, Joerg
Members of the Staphylococcaceae family, particularly those of the genus Staphylococcus, encompass important human and animal pathogens. We collected and characterized Staphylococcaceae strains from apparently healthy and diseased camels (n = 84) and cattle (n = 7) in Somalia and Kenya. We phenotypically characterized the strains, including their antimicrobial inhibitory concentrations. Then, we sequenced their genomes using long-read sequencing, closed their genomes, and subsequently compared and mapped their virulence- and resistance-associated gene pools. Genome-based phylogenetics revealed 13 known Staphylococcaceae and at least two novel species. East African strains of different species encompassed novel sequence types and phylogenetically distant clades. About one-third of the strains had non-wild-type MICs. They were resistant to at least one of the following antimicrobials: tetracycline, benzylpenicillin, oxacillin, erythromycin, clindamycin, trimethoprim, gentamicin, or streptomycin, encoded by tet(K), blaZ/blaARL, mecA/mecA1, msrA/mphC, salA, dfrG, aacA-aphD, and str, respectively. We identified the first methicillin- and multidrug-resistant camel S. epidermidis strain of sequence type (ST) 1136 in East Africa. The pool of virulence-encoding genes was largest in the S. aureus strains, as expected, although other rather commensal strains contained distinct virulence-encoding genes. We identified toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems such as the hicA/hicB and abiEii/abiEi families, reported here for the first time for certain species of Staphylococcaceae. All strains contained at least one intact prophage sequence, mainly belonging to the Siphoviridae family. We pinpointed potential horizontal gene transfers between camel and cattle strains and also across distinct Staphylococcaceae clades and species.

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