Comparison of spa Types, SCCmec Types and Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles of MRSA Isolated from Turkeys at Farm, Slaughter and from Retail Meat Indicates Transmission along the Production Chain
The prevalence of MRSA in the turkey meat production chain in Germany was estimated within the national monitoring for zoonotic agents in 2010. In total 22/112 (19.6%) dust samples from turkey farms, 235/359 (65.5%) swabs from turkey carcasses after slaughter and 147/460 (32.0%) turkey meat samples at retail were tested positive for MRSA. The specific distributions of spa types, SCCmec types and antimicrobial resistance profiles of MRSA isolated from these three different origins were compared using chi square statistics and the proportional similarity index (Czekanowski index). No significant differences between spa types, SCCmec types and antimicrobial resistance profiles of MRSA from different steps of the German turkey meat production chain were observed using Chi-Square test statistics. The Czekanowski index which can obtain values between 0 (no similarity) and 1 (perfect agreement) was consistently high (0.79-0.86) for the distribution of spa types and SCCmec types between the different processing stages indicating high degrees of similarity. The comparison of antimicrobial resistance profiles between the different process steps revealed the lowest Czekanowski index values (0.42-0.56). However, the Czekanowski index values were substantially higher than the index when isolates from the turkey meat production chain were compared to isolates from wild boar meat (0.13-0.19), an example of a separated population of MRSA used as control group. This result indicates that the proposed statistical method is valid to detect existing differences in the distribution of the tested characteristics of MRSA. The degree of similarity in the distribution of spa types, SCCmec types and antimicrobial resistance profiles between MRSA isolates from different process stages of turkey meat production may reflect MRSA transmission along the chain.