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Occurrence and antibiogram of <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> and methicillin-resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> from table eggs in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria

G.N. Anosa
E.V. Ezenduka
K.C. Gabriel
A. Ngene
U.U. Eze


Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of foodborne diseases worldwide and is associated with consumption of various foods of animal origin, including eggs and other poultry products. Eggs get contaminated with food poisoning pathogens when they make contact with dirty surfaces, litter materials as well as clothing and hands of poultry workers. This study aimed to reveal the presence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in table eggs in Enugu, Nigeria and to evaluate the antimicrobial susceptibilities of the isolates. A total of 290 eggs comprising of 58 composite samples (5 eggs/composite) from either the eggshell or egg contents were analyzed for S. aureus. Each isolate was tested against 15 antimicrobial agents. Seventy-five (75) isolates of S. aureus were recovered from the 58 composite samples, 51 from eggshells and 24 from egg contents. Of the 75 isolates of S. aureus tested for antibiotic susceptibility, frequency of resistance was very high to penicillin (96%) and amoxicillin (96%) but low to ciprofloxacin (2.7%) and gentamicin (4%). A high number of multi-drug resistant isolates were observed, with as much as 60 (80%) of the isolates being resistant to 8 or more antibiotics. The study confirmed a high occurrence of multi-drug resistant S. aureus in table eggs, including MRSA. An improvement in hygienic practices in poultry farms and retail outlets and the control of the use of antibiotics in poultry production is recommended.

Keywords: Antibiogram, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, Table eggs, Nigeria