Genomic Characterization and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Dromedary-Associated Staphylococcaceae from the Horn of Africa.

Akarsu, Hatice; Liljander, Anne; Younan, Mario; Brodard, Isabelle; Overesch, Gudrun; Glücks, Ilona; Labroussaa, Fabien; Kuhnert, Peter; Perreten, Vincent; Monecke, Stefan; Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor Max; Falquet, Laurent; Jores, Joerg (2022). Genomic Characterization and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Dromedary-Associated Staphylococcaceae from the Horn of Africa. Applied and environmental microbiology, 88(21), e0114622. American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/aem.01146-22

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Members of the Staphylococcaceae family, particularly those of the genus Staphylococcus, encompass important human and animal pathogens. We collected and characterized Staphylococcaceae strains from apparently healthy and diseased camels (n = 84) and cattle (n = 7) in Somalia and Kenya. We phenotypically characterized the strains, including their antimicrobial inhibitory concentrations. Then, we sequenced their genomes using long-read sequencing, closed their genomes, and subsequently compared and mapped their virulence- and resistance-associated gene pools. Genome-based phylogenetics revealed 13 known Staphylococcaceae and at least two novel species. East African strains of different species encompassed novel sequence types and phylogenetically distant clades. About one-third of the strains had non-wild-type MICs. They were resistant to at least one of the following antimicrobials: tetracycline, benzylpenicillin, oxacillin, erythromycin, clindamycin, trimethoprim, gentamicin, or streptomycin, encoded by tet(K), blaZ/blaARL, mecA/mecA1, msrA/mphC, salA, dfrG, aacA-aphD, and str, respectively. We identified the first methicillin- and multidrug-resistant camel S. epidermidis strain of sequence type (ST) 1136 in East Africa. The pool of virulence-encoding genes was largest in the S. aureus strains, as expected, although other rather commensal strains contained distinct virulence-encoding genes. We identified toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems such as the hicA/hicB and abiEii/abiEi families, reported here for the first time for certain species of Staphylococcaceae. All strains contained at least one intact prophage sequence, mainly belonging to the Siphoviridae family. We pinpointed potential horizontal gene transfers between camel and cattle strains and also across distinct Staphylococcaceae clades and species. IMPORTANCE Camels are a high value and crucial livestock species in arid and semiarid regions of Africa and gain importance giving the impact of climate change on traditional livestock species. Our current knowledge with respect to Staphylococcaceae infecting camels is very limited compared to that for other livestock species. Better knowledge will foster the development of specific diagnostic assays, guide promising antimicrobial treatment options, and inform about potential zoonotic risks. We characterized 84 Staphylococcaceae strains isolated from camels with respect to their antimicrobial resistance and virulence traits. We detected potentially novel Staphylococcus species, resistances to different classes of antimicrobials, and the first camel multidrug-resistant S. epidermidis strain of sequence type 1136.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Akarsu Egger, Hatice, Brodard, Isabelle, Overesch, Gudrun, Labroussaa, Fabien, Kuhnert, Peter, Perreten, Vincent, Jores, Jörg


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Society for Microbiology




Barbara Bracher

Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2022 15:29

Last Modified:

27 Dec 2022 07:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Mammaliicoccus Staphylococcus camel phage resistance virulence




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