Staphylococcus aureus is an important food pathogen that has the ability to form biofilms. This pathogen has been implicated in foodborne outbreaks associated with the consumption of meat and meat products. Since the role of meat products as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistant S. aureus and biofilm formers has not been studied, this research was conducted to assess the incidence, antimicrobial resistance, and presence of biofilm-forming genes in S. aureus bacteria from meat and meat products. For this purpose, 440 samples of meat and meat products were randomly collected from supermarkets of Shahrekord city, Iran. S. aureus isolates were highlighted and identified through biochemical tests. All S. aureus isolates were profiled for susceptibility to 14 antibiotics and the corresponding resistance genes were searched. The quantification of biofilm formation followed by a screening of biofilm formation encoding genes was done. Of the 440 samples collected, 61 were found to contain S. aureus. The incidence of S. aureus among the beef meat (16/61) was the highest followed by its incidence in sausage (10/61) and lunch meat (9/61). At least one isolate of S. aureus carries one of the following resistance gene blaZ, mecA, tet K, linA, tetM, erm A, ermB, and aac A-D. High distribution of icaA, icaB, icaC, icaD, clfB, and clfA, biofilm formation genes and Enterotoxin encoding genes sea, seb, sec, and sed. The ability of biofilm production and the presence of virulence determinants in the genome of S. aureus can contribute to their pathogenicity. This research demonstrated the roles of meat and meat products as reservoirs of biofilm-forming and antimicrobial-resistant strains of S. aureus. This poses a food safety and public health problem. However, further work needs to be done to better understand the implication of icaABCD biofilm forming genes present in S. aureus from meat and meat products in their resistance.
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