The widespread and often indiscriminate use of antimicrobials in animals is considered an important driving force behind the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. The emergence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the description of a novel methicillin-resistant gene, mecC, have renewed concerns regarding the role of animals as reservoirs and a source for the evolution of novel, virulent zoonotic pathogens. The transfer of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria residing in, or on, animals to close human contacts or the introduction of the bacteria into the food supply chain is a cause for concern. The purpose of this mini-review is to provide a background to the genus Staphylococcus and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance as well as a discussion on the most significant antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. The use of antimicrobials in animal husbandry is discussed and the interface between humans and different animal populations is closely examined. Finally, the need for antimicrobial monitoring programmes is discussed and is supplemented with information pertaining to antimicrobial susceptibility testing and molecular typing of staphylococcal isolates.
Part of the book: Antimicrobial Resistance