Frequency of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the noses of Malaysian chicken farmers and their chicken

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia

2 Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran and Molecular and Medicine Research Center, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

3 Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC, Gravendijkwal 8 230 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands and BioMérieux, La Balme les Grottes, France


The prevalence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin sensitive
Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) carriage among poultry and poultry farmers in Malaysia is largely unknown.
In the current investigation, chickens and chicken farmers from 30 chicken farms were screened for MRSA
and S. aureus carriage. The genetic characteristics of the isolates were determined through multi locus
sequence typing (MLST), Staphylococcus protein A (spa) typing and virulent gene profiling. The outcome of
the study showed lack of MRSA and extremely low S. aureus prevalence (n=7 of 503, 1.4%) among chicken
flocks and the poultry farmers in Malaysia. Staphylococcus aureus isolates belonged to 4 sequence types
(ST): ST97 (spa type t359), ST1179 (t359), ST 692 (t2247) and ST188 (t189). It can be concluded that
MRSA/MSSA prevalence is very low among chicken and chicken farmers, human and chicken cross
transmission of S. aureus does not seem to be a threat in Malaysia.