International journal of food microbiology

Incidence and characterization of Staphylococcus aureus in fishery products marketed in Galicia (Northwest Spain).

PMID 22704064


A total of 298 fishery products purchased from retail outlets in Galicia (NW Spain) between January 2008 and May 2009 were analyzed for the presence of Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus was detected in a significant proportion of products (~25%). Incidence was highest in fresh (43%) and frozen products (30%), but it was high in all other categories: salted fish (27%), smoked fish (26%), ready-to-cook products (25%), non-frozen surimis (20%), fish roes (17%) and other ready-to-eat products (10%). A significant proportion of smoked fish, surimis, fish roes and other ready-to-eat products did not comply with legal limits in force. RAPD-PCR of 125 S. aureus isolated from fishery products was carried out using three primers (AP-7, ERIC-2 and S). Isolates displayed 33 fingerprint patterns. Each pattern was attributed to a single bacterial clone. Cluster analysis based on similarity values between RAPD fingerprints did not find relationship between any RAPD pattern and any product category. Isolates were also tested for se genes and susceptibility to a range of antibiotics (cephalothin, clindamycin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamicin, oxacillin, penicillin G, tetracycline, vancomycin, methicillin, ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole). Most isolates (88%) were found to be sea positive. Putative enterotoxigenic strains counts reached high risk levels in 17 products. No relationship was found between the presence of se genes and RAPD patterns. All isolates were resistant to penicillin, chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin, and most to tetracycline (82.4%), but none was methicillin-resistant. A revision of pre-requisite programs leading to improve hygienic practices in handling and processing operations from fishing or farming to retail is recommended to ensure fishery products safety.