Eggs are a healthy and nutritious food source, but may be contaminated by bacteria. Previous studies have reported the presence of staphylococci in eggs of farmed chickens, but no study has evaluated the staphylococcal population of eggs from household chickens. In this study, staphylococci from eggs (n = 275) of household chickens collected from November 2016 to March 2017 from different villages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, were characterized. Seven species of staphylococci were identified from 65 eggs, including the predominant species, Staphylococcus xylosus (49/275; 17.8%). S. xylosus isolates (n = 73) were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility, presence of resistance genes, genetic relatedness, and inhibitory activity against other bacteria. The majority of isolates were resistant to oxacillin (83.6%) and tetracycline (24.7%), but also exhibited resistance to daptomycin and linezolid (5.5% each). Of the 10 resistance genes tested, isolates were only positive for mecA (35.6%; 26/73), mecC/C1 (2.7%; 2/73), and tet(K) (14/73; 19%). Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), nine clusters had identical PFGE patterns. Isolates produced inhibitory activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria; 20.5%, 19.2%, 17.8%, and 16.4% of S. xylosus were able to inhibit growth of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhi, methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. This study demonstrated the presence of genetically related antimicrobial-resistant S. xylosus from eggs from household chickens. Like table eggs, eggs of household chickens also contain staphylococci that may be resistant to antimicrobials used to treat human infections. These data will allow comparison between staphylococci from eggs from different sources and may indicate the relative safety of eggs from household chickens. Further study of these egg types and their microbial composition is warranted.
- antimicrobial resistance
- household chickens