European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) as a natural reservoir of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carrying mecC in Denmark

Sophie Lund Rasmussen, Jesper Larsen, Rien E van Wijk, Owen R Jones, Thomas Bjørneboe Berg, Øystein Angen, Anders Rhod Larsen

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: A recent study from Sweden showed that European hedgehogs may constitute a reservoir for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but this host-parasite relationship remains to be investigated in other countries. In this study, we therefore sought to: 1) determine the dissemination of MRSA in European hedgehogs throughout Denmark; 2) investigate determinants of MRSA carriage in hedgehogs; 3) determine the potential for zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans; and 4) characterise the detected MRSA on both a phenotypic and molecular level.

METHODS: Nasal swabs were taken from 188 dead hedgehogs collected by volunteers throughout Denmark to determine the occurrence of MRSA. Additionally, 16 hedgehog rehabilitators were tested for potential zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans. The swabs were incubated in tryptic soy broth supplemented with 6.5% NaCl, followed by spread of 10 μl on Brilliance MRSA 2 agar. One presumptive MRSA colony from each plate was subcultured on 5% blood agar. All S. aureus subcultures were verified by a PCR assay detecting mecA, mecC, lukF-PV, scn, and spa, followed by spa typing.

RESULTS: A total of 114 (61%) hedgehogs carried mecC-MRSA, whereas none carried mecA-MRSA. The detected mecC-MRSA belonged to two genetic lineages CC130 (spa-types: t528, t843, t1048, t3256, t3570, t6220, t17133) and CC1943 (spa-types: t978, t2345, t3391, t8835, t16868), 52% of which were spa-type t843 (CC130).The detection rate of mecC-MRSA in the hedgehogs was similar regardless of cause of death, sex, region and habitat type. None of the hedgehog rehabilitators carried MRSA.

CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide study confirms a high occurrence of mecC-MRSA in hedgehogs, which could serve as a natural reservoir for this specific type of MRSA. Furthermore, our study did not find signs of zoonotic transmission of mecC-MRSA to hedgehog rehabilitators.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0222031
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume14
Issue number9
Number of pages13
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6. Sep 2019

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Erinaceus europaeus
Methicillin
Erinaceidae
Denmark
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Agar
agar
Host-Parasite Interactions

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@article{64fffee0570f4569af8dc62f8aac0c44,
title = "European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) as a natural reservoir of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carrying mecC in Denmark",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES: A recent study from Sweden showed that European hedgehogs may constitute a reservoir for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but this host-parasite relationship remains to be investigated in other countries. In this study, we therefore sought to: 1) determine the dissemination of MRSA in European hedgehogs throughout Denmark; 2) investigate determinants of MRSA carriage in hedgehogs; 3) determine the potential for zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans; and 4) characterise the detected MRSA on both a phenotypic and molecular level.METHODS: Nasal swabs were taken from 188 dead hedgehogs collected by volunteers throughout Denmark to determine the occurrence of MRSA. Additionally, 16 hedgehog rehabilitators were tested for potential zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans. The swabs were incubated in tryptic soy broth supplemented with 6.5{\%} NaCl, followed by spread of 10 μl on Brilliance MRSA 2 agar. One presumptive MRSA colony from each plate was subcultured on 5{\%} blood agar. All S. aureus subcultures were verified by a PCR assay detecting mecA, mecC, lukF-PV, scn, and spa, followed by spa typing.RESULTS: A total of 114 (61{\%}) hedgehogs carried mecC-MRSA, whereas none carried mecA-MRSA. The detected mecC-MRSA belonged to two genetic lineages CC130 (spa-types: t528, t843, t1048, t3256, t3570, t6220, t17133) and CC1943 (spa-types: t978, t2345, t3391, t8835, t16868), 52{\%} of which were spa-type t843 (CC130).The detection rate of mecC-MRSA in the hedgehogs was similar regardless of cause of death, sex, region and habitat type. None of the hedgehog rehabilitators carried MRSA.CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide study confirms a high occurrence of mecC-MRSA in hedgehogs, which could serve as a natural reservoir for this specific type of MRSA. Furthermore, our study did not find signs of zoonotic transmission of mecC-MRSA to hedgehog rehabilitators.",
author = "Rasmussen, {Sophie Lund} and Jesper Larsen and {van Wijk}, {Rien E} and Jones, {Owen R} and Berg, {Thomas Bj{\o}rneboe} and {\O}ystein Angen and Larsen, {Anders Rhod}",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "6",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0222031",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
journal = "P L o S One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "9",

}

European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) as a natural reservoir of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carrying mecC in Denmark. / Rasmussen, Sophie Lund; Larsen, Jesper; van Wijk, Rien E; Jones, Owen R; Berg, Thomas Bjørneboe; Angen, Øystein; Larsen, Anders Rhod.

In: PLOS ONE, Vol. 14, No. 9, e0222031, 06.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) as a natural reservoir of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carrying mecC in Denmark

AU - Rasmussen, Sophie Lund

AU - Larsen, Jesper

AU - van Wijk, Rien E

AU - Jones, Owen R

AU - Berg, Thomas Bjørneboe

AU - Angen, Øystein

AU - Larsen, Anders Rhod

PY - 2019/9/6

Y1 - 2019/9/6

N2 - OBJECTIVES: A recent study from Sweden showed that European hedgehogs may constitute a reservoir for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but this host-parasite relationship remains to be investigated in other countries. In this study, we therefore sought to: 1) determine the dissemination of MRSA in European hedgehogs throughout Denmark; 2) investigate determinants of MRSA carriage in hedgehogs; 3) determine the potential for zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans; and 4) characterise the detected MRSA on both a phenotypic and molecular level.METHODS: Nasal swabs were taken from 188 dead hedgehogs collected by volunteers throughout Denmark to determine the occurrence of MRSA. Additionally, 16 hedgehog rehabilitators were tested for potential zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans. The swabs were incubated in tryptic soy broth supplemented with 6.5% NaCl, followed by spread of 10 μl on Brilliance MRSA 2 agar. One presumptive MRSA colony from each plate was subcultured on 5% blood agar. All S. aureus subcultures were verified by a PCR assay detecting mecA, mecC, lukF-PV, scn, and spa, followed by spa typing.RESULTS: A total of 114 (61%) hedgehogs carried mecC-MRSA, whereas none carried mecA-MRSA. The detected mecC-MRSA belonged to two genetic lineages CC130 (spa-types: t528, t843, t1048, t3256, t3570, t6220, t17133) and CC1943 (spa-types: t978, t2345, t3391, t8835, t16868), 52% of which were spa-type t843 (CC130).The detection rate of mecC-MRSA in the hedgehogs was similar regardless of cause of death, sex, region and habitat type. None of the hedgehog rehabilitators carried MRSA.CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide study confirms a high occurrence of mecC-MRSA in hedgehogs, which could serve as a natural reservoir for this specific type of MRSA. Furthermore, our study did not find signs of zoonotic transmission of mecC-MRSA to hedgehog rehabilitators.

AB - OBJECTIVES: A recent study from Sweden showed that European hedgehogs may constitute a reservoir for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but this host-parasite relationship remains to be investigated in other countries. In this study, we therefore sought to: 1) determine the dissemination of MRSA in European hedgehogs throughout Denmark; 2) investigate determinants of MRSA carriage in hedgehogs; 3) determine the potential for zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans; and 4) characterise the detected MRSA on both a phenotypic and molecular level.METHODS: Nasal swabs were taken from 188 dead hedgehogs collected by volunteers throughout Denmark to determine the occurrence of MRSA. Additionally, 16 hedgehog rehabilitators were tested for potential zoonotic transmission of MRSA from hedgehogs to humans. The swabs were incubated in tryptic soy broth supplemented with 6.5% NaCl, followed by spread of 10 μl on Brilliance MRSA 2 agar. One presumptive MRSA colony from each plate was subcultured on 5% blood agar. All S. aureus subcultures were verified by a PCR assay detecting mecA, mecC, lukF-PV, scn, and spa, followed by spa typing.RESULTS: A total of 114 (61%) hedgehogs carried mecC-MRSA, whereas none carried mecA-MRSA. The detected mecC-MRSA belonged to two genetic lineages CC130 (spa-types: t528, t843, t1048, t3256, t3570, t6220, t17133) and CC1943 (spa-types: t978, t2345, t3391, t8835, t16868), 52% of which were spa-type t843 (CC130).The detection rate of mecC-MRSA in the hedgehogs was similar regardless of cause of death, sex, region and habitat type. None of the hedgehog rehabilitators carried MRSA.CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide study confirms a high occurrence of mecC-MRSA in hedgehogs, which could serve as a natural reservoir for this specific type of MRSA. Furthermore, our study did not find signs of zoonotic transmission of mecC-MRSA to hedgehog rehabilitators.

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0222031

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0222031

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 31490992

VL - 14

JO - P L o S One

JF - P L o S One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 9

M1 - e0222031

ER -