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Genes on the Move: In Vitro Transduction of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes between Human and Canine Staphylococcal Pathogens

Frosini, Sian-Marie; Bond, Ross; McCarthy, Alex; Feudi, Claudia; Schwarz, Stefan; Lindsay, Jodi; Loeffler, Anette


Sian-Marie Frosini

Ross Bond

Alex McCarthy

Claudia Feudi

Stefan Schwarz

Jodi Lindsay

Anette Loeffler


Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) between people and pets, and their co-carriage, are well-described. Potential exchange of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes amongst these staphylococci was investigated in vitro through endogenous bacteriophage-mediated transduction. Bacteriophages were UV-induced from seven donor isolates of canine (MRSP) and human (MRSA) origin, containing tet(M), tet(K), fusB or fusC, and lysates filtered. Twenty-seven tetracycline- and fusidic acid- (FA-) susceptible recipients were used in 122 donor-recipient combinations (22 tetracycline, 100 FA) across 415 assays (115 tetracycline, 300 FA). Bacteriophage lysates were incubated with recipients and presumed transductants quantified on antimicrobial-supplemented agar plates. Tetracycline resistance transduction from MRSP and MRSA to methicillin-susceptible S. pseudintermedius (MSSP) was confirmed by PCR in 15/115 assays. No FA-resistance transfer occurred, confirmed by negative fusB/fusC PCR, but colonies resulting from FA assays had high MICs (≥32 mg/L) and showed mutations in fusA, two at a novel position (F88L), nine at H457[Y/N/L]. Horizontal gene transfer of tetracycline-resistance confirms that resistance genes can be shared between coagulase-positive staphylococci from different hosts. Cross-species AMR transmission highlights the importance of good antimicrobial stewardship across humans and veterinary species to support One Health.


Frosini, S., Bond, R., McCarthy, A., Feudi, C., Schwarz, S., Lindsay, J., & Loeffler, A. (2020). Genes on the Move: In Vitro Transduction of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes between Human and Canine Staphylococcal Pathogens. Microorganisms,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 17, 2020
Publication Date Dec 18, 2020
Deposit Date Dec 17, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 21, 2020
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL