Methods for Identification of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates in Cases of Bovine Mastitis


American Society for Microbiology


A total of 272 staphylococcal isolates from cases of bovine mastitis (159 Staphylococcus aureus) belonging to 12 different species were identified with ID32 STAPH galleries, and 51 of them were confirmed by 16S rRNA gene (rrs) sequencing. The same isolates were examined for their hemolytic activity on sheep blood agar, DNase activity, and coagulase activity and with two rapid identification kits (Slidex Staph Plus kit and RAPIDEC Staph from Bio-Merieux). The results of this study confirm those obtained by other groups with hemolysis, DNase, and coagulase. Only 50% of S. aureus isolates from mastitis cases show coagulase activity after 4 h of incubation, and a 24-h incubation is necessary for the full sensitivity of this test. In contrast to results from other studies with human isolates, the Slidex Staph Plus kit was not sensitive enough for the identification of S. aureus from bovine mastitis samples. The aurease test of the RAPIDEC Staph kit showed 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Used in conjunction with hemolysis patterns, the RAPIDEC Staph kit is therefore very well adapted to rapid, efficient, and cost-effective identification of S. aureus in cultures from bovine mastitis samples. Sequencing of rrs genes also proved very efficient in identifying the Staphylococcus species encountered in these samples and confirming phenotypical identification results with unsatisfactory scores. With continuously improving technologies and decreasing costs, genetic identification methods like rrs gene sequencing will soon find a place in routine veterinary diagnostics.

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