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Authors: B. Horváth, F. Peles, A. Szél, R. Sipos, Á. Erős, E. Albert and A. Micsinai

The aim of the study was the identification and characterisation of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus bacteria obtained from food matrices by mass spectrometry and molecular methods. A total of 46 coagulase-positive Staphylococcus isolates were collected from different foodstuffs. The Staphylococcus isolates were identified by MALDI-TOF MS and confirmed by the presence and sequence analysis of the Staphylococcus protein A gene. Staphylococcal enterotoxin genes were also investigated by multiplex PCR. Based on the identification of strains by the MALDI-TOF MS technique and spa-typing, all strains were identified as Staphylococcus aureus. Based on their MS peak profiles, the isolates matched the spectra of three S. aureus reference strains in the Bruker MALDI Biotyper database, with identification scores higher than 1.999 in the case of all 46 (100%) isolates. The isolates showed great genetic variability. Twenty spa types were identified, from which most lineages are capable of colonizing humans. Fifty percent of the strains harboured at least one of four enterotoxin genes (seg, seh, sei, and ser), but none of the classical enterotoxin genes could be detected.

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