Skip to main content
Genotypic relatedness and phenotypic characterization of Staphylococcus schleiferi subspecies in clinical samples from dogs.
American Journal of Veterinary Research (2011)
  • Christine L. Cain, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • D. O. Morris
  • K. O'Shea
  • S. C. Rankin

OBJECTIVE: To assess the degree of biological similarity (on the basis of genotype determined via pulsed-field gel electrophoresis [PFGE]) between isolates of 2 Staphylococcus schleiferi subspecies (S schleiferi subsp coagulans and S schleiferi subsp schleiferi) in clinical samples obtained from dogs. SAMPLE POPULATION: 161 S schleiferi isolates from 160 canine patients. PROCEDURES: A commercial microbiology identification system was used to identify each isolate as S schleiferi. Isolates underwent slide and tube coagulase testing and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A mecA PCR assay and a latex agglutination test for penicillin-binding protein 2a (PBP2a) were also performed on each isolate. Clonal clusters with a similarity cutoff value of 80% were identified via PFGE. RESULTS: Of the 161 isolates, 61 (38%), 79 (49%), and 21 (13%) were obtained from cutaneous sites, ears, and other sites, respectively; 110 (68%) were coagulase negative, and 51 (32%) were coagulase positive. Among the coagulase-negative and coagulase-positive isolates, 65% (71/110) and 39% (20/51) were oxacillin resistant, respectively. All oxacillin-resistant isolates yielded positive results via mecA PCR assay and PBP2a latex agglutination testing. Via PFGE, 15 major clusters and 108 individual pulsed-field profiles were identified. Oxacillin-resistant and oxacillin-susceptible isolates clustered separately. Clonal clusters were heterogeneous and contained representatives of both subspecies. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Coagulase-positive and coagulase-negative isolates were not genotypically distinct and may represent a single S schleiferi sp with variable coagulase production, rather than 2 biologically distinct subspecies. Further studies are needed to characterize clinical or epidemiological differences associated with infections with coagulase-positive and coagulase-negative S schleiferi in dogs.

Publication Date
Citation Information
Christine L. Cain, D. O. Morris, K. O'Shea and S. C. Rankin. "Genotypic relatedness and phenotypic characterization of Staphylococcus schleiferi subspecies in clinical samples from dogs." American Journal of Veterinary Research Vol. 72 Iss. 1 (2011)
Available at: