Hospital Cockroaches Considered a Potential Mechanical Vector for MRSA Strains

Cockroaches are one of the most important and frequent insects responsible for harboring, transmission and dissemination of human pathogens in the hospital environment. The present research by Abdolmalek, et al. (2019) was conducted to study the phenotypic and genotypic characterization of antibiotic resistance in the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from hospital cockroaches.

Five-hundred and thirty Periplanets americana and Blattella germanica cockroaches were collected and their gut content and external washing samples were subjected to bacterial isolation. MRSA strains were subjected to disk diffusion and PCR amplification of antibiotic resistance genes.

Prevalence of MRSA strains in P. americana and B. germanica cockroaches were 52.77 and 43.33%, respectively. External washing samples of P. americana cockroaches had the highest prevalence of MRSA strains (59.57%). MRSA isolates of external washing samples harbored the highest prevalence of resistance against penicillin (100%), ceftaroline (100%), tetracycline (100%), gentamicin (83.33%) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (80.55%). MRSA strains isolated from gut content samples harbored the highest prevalence of resistance against penicillin (100%), ceftaroline (100%), tetracycline (100%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (80%) and gentamicin (73.33%). BlaZ, aacA-D, tetK, msrA, dfrA, ermA, gyrA, grlA and rpoB were the most commonly detected antibiotic resistance genes amongst the MRSA strains.

The present investigation is the first report of the phenotypic and genotypic evaluation of antibiotic resistance in the MRSA strains isolated from P. americana and B. germanica hospital cockroaches. The researchers say that hospital cockroaches are considered as a potential mechanical vector for MRSA strains.

Reference: Abdolmaleki Z, et al. Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of antibiotic resistance in the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from hospital cockroaches. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 2019;8:54

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