Heterogeneity of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates from atopic and healthy dogs

Jennifer Fazakerley, Nicola Williams, Stuart Carter, Neil McEwan, Tim Nuttall

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Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is part of the normal canine flora but frequently causes pyoderma in canine atopic dermatitis (AD). This study aimed to determine whether particular S. pseudintermedius strains were associated with AD and/or pyoderma. Ninety-six S. pseudintermedius isolates from the ear, nares, perineum and lesions of 21 atopic and 16 healthy dogs were lysed with proteinase K and digested with 40 U SmaI. Restriction products were separated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) with an Oxford S. aureus control and lambda-ladder DNA concatomer markers. A dendrogram was constructed by the unweighted pair group method. All isolates showed a ≥ 56% similarity coefficient. Nine distinct PFGE clusters were identified, as follows: five from both atopic and healthy dogs; three from atopic dogs only; and one from healthy dogs only. Nine clusters were isolated from the nares, eight from the perineum, five from the ears and six from pyoderma lesions. There were no significant differences in the frequency of isolation from atopic or healthy skin, body sites or infected lesions for any of the clusters. Two of six healthy dogs and 18 of 20 atopic dogs with multiple isolates had closely related isolates (less than three band differences) at more than one sampling site. Isolates from pyoderma lesions were closely related to at least one mucosal isolate in 11 of 16 dogs. Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolates appear to be heterogeneous, and colonization or infection of atopic skin was not associated with any particular strain or cluster of strains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-85
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Animals
  • Dermatitis, Atopic
  • Dog Diseases
  • Dogs
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Genotype
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pyoderma
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections
  • Staphylococcus


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