Rosa, N.M.; Duprè, I.; Azara, E.; Longheu, C.M.; Tola, S. Molecular Typing and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiles of Streptococcus uberis Isolated from Sheep Milk. Pathogens2021, 10, 1489.
Rosa, N.M.; Duprè, I.; Azara, E.; Longheu, C.M.; Tola, S. Molecular Typing and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiles of Streptococcus uberis Isolated from Sheep Milk. Pathogens 2021, 10, 1489.
Intrammary infections are a major problem for dairy sheep farms, and Streptococcus uberis is one of the main etiological agents of ovine mastitis. Surveys on antimicrobial resistance are still limited in sheep and characterization of isolates is important for acquiring information on resistance and for optimizing therapy. In this study, a sampling of 124 S. uberis isolates collected in Sardinia (Italy) from sheep milk was analysed by multilocus-sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) for genetic relatedness. All isolates were also subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility analysis by the disk diffusion test using a panel of 14 antimicrobials. Resistance genes were detected by PCR assays. MLST analysis revealed that the isolates were grouped into 86 sequence types (STs), of which 73 were new genotypes, indicating a highly diverse population of S. uberis. The most frequently detected lineage was the clonal complex (CC)143, although representing only 13.7% of all characterized isolates. A high level of heterogeneity was also observed among the SmaI PFGE profiles, with 121 unique patterns. Almost all (96.8%) isolates were resistant to at least one antimicrobial, while all exhibited phenotypic susceptibility to oxacillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and ceftiofur. Of the antimicrobials tested, the highest resistance rate was found against streptomycin (93.5%), kanamycin (79.8%) and gentamicin (64.5%), followed by novobiocin (25%) and tetracycline-TE (19.3%). Seventy-four (59.7%) isolates were simultaneously resistant to all aminoglycosides tested. Seventeen isolates (13.7%) exhibited multidrug resistance. All aminoglycosides-resistant isolates were PCR negative for aad-6 and aphA-3’ genes. Among the TE-resistant isolates, the tetM gene was predominant, indicating that the resistance mechanism is mainly mediated by the protection of ribosomes and not through the efflux pump. Three isolates were resistant to erythromycin, and two of them harboured the ermB gene. This is the first study reporting a detailed characterization of the S. uberis strains circulating in Sardinian sheep. Further investigations will be needed to understand the relationships between S. uberis genotypes, mastitis severity, and intra-mammary infection dynamics in the flock, as well as to monitor the evolution of antimicrobial resistance.
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