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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

Print version ISSN 1019-9128

Abstract

SCHMIDT, T. In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus strains from dairy herds in KwaZulu-Natal. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2011, vol.82, n.2, pp. 76-79. ISSN 1019-9128.

Staphylococcus aureus is 1 of the most important causes of bovine mastitis and is responsible for significant economic losses to the dairy industry worldwide. One of the principal approaches used in treating intramammary infections is the administration of antimicrobials. Due to the propensity of S. aureus to develop resistance, antimicrobial susceptibility monitoring is necessary to ensure that treatment regimens are effective. As part of this investigation, 90 S. aureus strains isolated from mastitis cases submitted to Allerton Provincial Veterinary Laboratory during 2008 and 2009 were evaluated for their susceptibility to a panel of 10 antimicrobials. Only 8 of the 90 S. aureus isolates tested (8.9 %) were found to be susceptible to all of the antimicrobials evaluated. A very high level of resistance to the beta-lactam antibiotics was noted: 47.8 % of the isolates were resistant to penicillin and 65.6 % were resistant to ampicillin. Minimal resistance to oxacillin, cephalothin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (1.1 %) was found. Seventeen (18.9 %) of the isolates tested were found to be resistant to 3 or more antimicrobials. The need for vigilant monitoring of bacterial resistance trends in the dairy industry is warranted as the potential public health implications are significant.

Keywords : antimicrobial susceptibility; bovine mastitis; Staphylococcus aureus.

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