Microbial Ecology

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 409–415 | Cite as

Detection of MRSA of Lineages CC130-mecC and CC398-mecA and Staphylococcus delphini-lnu(A) in Magpies and Cinereous Vultures in Spain

  • Laura Ruiz-Ripa
  • Paula Gómez
  • Carla Andrea Alonso
  • Maria Cruz Camacho
  • Javier de la Puente
  • Rosa Fernández-Fernández
  • Yolanda Ramiro
  • Miguel Angel Quevedo
  • Juan Manuel Blanco
  • Myriam Zarazaga
  • Ursula Höfle
  • Carmen TorresEmail author
Environmental Microbiology


The aim of this study was to determine the carriage rate of coagulase-positive staphylococci (CoPS) in wild birds and to characterize recovered isolates. Tracheal samples from 324 wild birds, obtained in different Spanish regions during 2015–2016, were screened for CoPS carriage. The antimicrobial resistance profile and the virulence gene content were investigated. Molecular typing was performed by spa, agr, MLST, SCCmec, and S. delphini group classification. CoPS were recovered from 26 samples of wild birds (8.3%), and 27 isolates were further characterized. Two CoPS species were detected: S. aureus (n = 15; eight cinereous vultures and seven magpies) and S. delphini (n = 12; 11 cinereous vultures and one red kite). Thirteen S. aureus were methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and the remaining two strains were methicillin-susceptible (MSSA). Twelve MRSA were mecC-positive, typed as t843-ST1583/ST1945/ST1581/ST1571 (n = 11) and t1535-ST1945 (n = 1) (all of clonal-complex CC130); they were susceptible to the non-β-lactams tested. The remaining MRSA strain carried the mecA gene, was typed as t011-ST398-CC398-agrI-SCCmec-V, and showed a multiresistance phenotype. MSSA isolates were ascribed to lineages ST97-CC97 and ST425-CC425. All S. aureus lacked the studied virulence genes (lukS/F-PV, tst, eta, etb, and etd), and the IEC type E (with scn and sak genes) was detected in four mecC-positive and one MSSA isolates. S. delphini strains were methicillin-susceptible but showed resistance to at least one of the antimicrobials tested, with high penicillin (75%, with blaZ gene) and tetracycline [58%, with tet(K)± tet(L)] resistance rates. All S. delphini isolates presented the virulence genes lukS-I, siet, and se-int, and four carried the clindamycin-resistance lnu(A) gene.


Wild birds CoPS S. aureus mecC-MRSA mecA-MRSA S. delphini 



These results were presented as oral exposition at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), Vienna, April 2017. This work was supported by project SAF2016-76571-R from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) of Spain and FEDER. Laura Ruiz-Ripa has a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Universidad de La Rioja (Spain). We appreciate the contribution of Manuel Alcántara of the Gobierno de Aragón (Spain) for facilitating sample collection. They are also a contribution to the Life12 Nat/ES/00322 for the recovery of the bearded vulture in the Picos de Europa mountains. Authors gratefully acknowledge Sierra de Guadarrama National Park for financial support in the monitoring of the black vulture colony Alto Lozoya, SEO/BirdLife for coordination of these works and forest agents for their help during field works and sampling.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 50 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Ruiz-Ripa
    • 1
  • Paula Gómez
    • 1
  • Carla Andrea Alonso
    • 1
  • Maria Cruz Camacho
    • 2
  • Javier de la Puente
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rosa Fernández-Fernández
    • 1
  • Yolanda Ramiro
    • 2
  • Miguel Angel Quevedo
    • 5
  • Juan Manuel Blanco
    • 6
  • Myriam Zarazaga
    • 1
  • Ursula Höfle
    • 2
  • Carmen Torres
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Área de Bioquímica y Biología MolecularUniversidad de La RiojaLogroñoSpain
  2. 2.Grupo SaBioInstituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  3. 3.SEO/BirdLife, Bird Monitoring UnitMadridSpain
  4. 4.Parque Nacional de la Sierra de Guadarrama, Centro de Investigación, Seguimiento y EvaluaciónMadridSpain
  5. 5.Zoobotánico JerezJerez de la FronteraSpain
  6. 6.Aquila FoundationOropesaSpain

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