Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2023 Sep 19. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2023.0050. Online ahead of print.
Milk is an important source of food, and it is also a nutrient-rich medium, which can harbor multiple microorganisms. Staphylococcus aureus is an important foodborne pathogen in food-producing animals, and there have been many reports on its infection and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which has significant global public health concerns. This study was designed to isolate, characterize, and analyze the AMR pattern of S. aureus from milk samples collected in Chennai, India. A total of 259 raw milk samples from 3 groups: dairy farms, local vendors, and retail outlets were analyzed, and it was found that 34% (89/259) were positive for S. aureus. Positive isolates were further characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and isolates recovered from different sources, study areas, and locations showed high genetic diversity with no similarity. The presence of AMR has been further assessed by phenotypic methods as per CLSI-M100 performance standards, and all the isolates were susceptible to ampicillin/sulbactam, mupirocin, and tylosin. Additionally, all of the isolates were resistant to ampicillin. There were 28 isolates categorized as multidrug-resistant, which showed resistance to more than 2-3 classes of antimicrobials. This is the first report of inducible clindamycin resistance and mupirocin sensitivity pattern from S. aureus isolates recovered from milk. This study established the occurrence varied with genetic diversity in the isolates prevalent in the study area and divergence pattern of AMR S. aureus. The AMR in these isolates and with methicillin-resistant S. aureus could pose a serious threat to food safety and economic implications.