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Aureus in Algeria

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S aureus in Algeria: Isolation, Identification, and Antimicrobial resistance

Ismahane Benrabia1,2, Hamdi

1High National Veterinary School of Algiers, Algeria, Rue Issad Abbes, Oued Smar, El Harrach, 16000, Algiers, Algeria.




   Staphylococcus aureus, also known as golden staph in reference to their typical golden yellow color, are a major human and animal opportunists bacterium can cause a wide variety of suppurative infections, toxi-infections and are at the forefront of the germs responsible for hospital acquired infections. This commensal germ of the skin and mucous membranes of humans and animals is present permanently in 20% of individuals who are healthy carriers and play an important role in the spread and evolution of this bacterium (ValeriaVelasco, 2015).  

 S aureus and more specifically MRSA since its initial description in 1961, have long intrigued the scientific community, comparative studies of isolated S aureus on farm staff, their families and veterinarians demonstrate the amalgamation between MRSA strains in humans and animals revealing a new emerging zoonosis. The appearance of these community and hospital acquired Infections and their epidemic power are major public health and economical worldwide problem.

In Algeria, a high prevalence of MRSA PVL-positive strains resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics has been reported in several studies conducted in hospital and community settings in different wilaya. The Algerian Network on Antimicrobial Resistance reports a rate of 36.10% MRSA for 2016, showing that more than one in three Staphylococcus aureus is either methicillin resistant.

The study of the evolution of this multidrug-resistant bacterium in the hospital environment shows an increase in MRSA levels from 35% to 47% between 2000 and 2005, there was a slight decrease in 2016, brought the MRSA rate to 36%

Other studies on the characteristics of S aureus strains isolated from foodstuffs have confirmed a high prevalence of S aureus showing resistance to different antibiotics. Only a few studies have been conducted on antibiotic resistance of S aureus strains in livestock. These alarming observations have been a watershed in the strategy of combating multiresistance bacterium underscoring the importance of surveillance programs in humans, environments and animals. The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of S aureus strains isolated from laying hens, broilers and breeding hens and to assess their antibiotic resistance from 2011 to 2018.

Material and Methods

Sampling and farm information

 A total number of 905 isolates was collected in 2011 to 2018 from animals. In this study, 300 poultry farms located in different districts in Algeria were visited Table 1.

The study included 94 isolates from laying hen, 420 isolates from broiler based on one isolate per herd and per year.

From each farm, 5 to 6 swabs randomly selected have been aseptically performed and analyzed at the laboratory of microbiology at National institute of Criminalistics and criminology INCC)

Isolation and Identification of S aureus

In total 605  swabs were incubated  for 24h in a broth containing 1% tryptone, 7.5% sodium chloride, 1% mannitol and 0.25% yeast extract at 37°C. Loopful of the cultures were inoculated onto Chapman agar (Biorad, France) and selective MRSA agar plates (BBL CHROMagar MRSA, USA) incubated at 37°C for 24–48 h. suspected colonies on the selective plates were screened for coagulase activity (Rabbit plasma, Oxoid,France) and investigated by the API Staph ID test (BioMérieux,France).

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing

Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined using the disc diffusion test of 13 antimicrobials agents, including cefoxitin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, erythromycin, gentamicin, linezolid, nitrofurantoin, teicoplanin, tetracycline, tigecycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and vancomycin.

S. aureus ATCC 29213 was tested as a quality control organism.


During the study period from 2011 to 2018, a total of 950 samples were taken from broiler chickens, laying hens, breeding hens for the identification and characterization of staphylococcus aureus strains in different wilayas in Algeria (table 1).

Interpretation of MICs


 The study of the prevalence of MRSA in animals focused on food analysis and staphylococcus aureus research in cases of infection. The paucity of data on MRSA portage in different animal species remains an additional barrier to a comprehensive analysis of MRSA epidemiology.

 In this study, the prevalence of nasal carriage S aureus was 23,7 % in laying hens, 21.6  % in broilers 25.3 % in breeding hens and 37 % in turkey. These rates are comparatively low than the rate reported in other studies of nasal carriage rate of S. aureus in livestock and human in Algeria estimated at 42% in laying hens, 12% in broilers, and 55% in bovine,  (53%) in camel, (50%) in humans and monkeys, (44.2%) in sheep, (15.2%) in horses and (15%) in cattle.

The rate of MRSA carriage in our study was accessed to 18.2% lower than the previously reported prevalence in laying hens and broiler chickens  ranging between  50%-57% and 31% in cattle (kechih et al ,20018)  and higher than the rate of (7.6%)  reported by Amir Agabou et al. 2017 

Colonization rates of 1.6% and 27.78% were reported in poultry and poultry farmers respectively  in Malaysia (Rasamiravaka and al, 2017), the Prevalence of livestock-associated MRSA in broiler flocks in The Netherlands was estimated at  35% (MULDERS and al 2010) 


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