Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Carried By Wild Song Birds

Tweet? (and not the internet kind). At the recent ASM meeting, I saw a poster presented by Mark Schroeder of Ohio Wesleyan University about the prevalence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in wild song birds (the staphylococci include several potential pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermis).

Based on my notes (Note to wee lil’ scientists: If you’re presenting a poster, always bring lots of page sized copies. Always.), roughly ten percent of birds had staphylococci (I think they were isolated from the plumage, but I can’t be certain).
Among the mannitol-positive staphylococci (which include S. aureus), 58% were methicillin resistant. Zoiks. Of the S. aureus, ~30% were methicillin resistant (no mention which clone of S. aureus they were). Among the mannitol-negative staphylococci (which include S. epidermis), 31% were methicillin resistant.
When you consider how many songbirds there are in the U.S., it’s safe to say that they constitute a major reservoir of methicillin resistant staphylococci (as well as methicillin resistance genes). It will be interesting to see what the genetics of these organisms will be.

This entry was posted in Antibiotics, Aves, Microbiology, MRSA. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Carried By Wild Song Birds

  1. phisrow says:

    By the time this one makes it through the science news cycle we’ll have op-eds calling for our own Great Sparrow Campaign.

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