Isolation of Staphylococcus aureus was carried out in a total of 120 retail pork samples and the overall prevalence of S. aureus in retail pork meat was 76.67%. All the isolates were resistant to both Ampicillin and Tetracycline (100%) followed by Cefoxitin, Oxacillin, Erythromycin, Amoxicillin, and Novobiocin. The multiple antibiotic resistance index of majority of the isolates were 0.3 and above. Methicillin resistance based on polymerase chain reaction revealed that 76.09% carried either mecA or mecC. The prevalence of enterotoxigenic S. aureus in pork was 82.61% and of the various toxin genes sei was the major gene followed by seg, seb, sej, sed, seh, sec, and sea in decreasing order. The prevalence of multidrug resistant and virulent S. aureus carrying enterotoxin genes in retail pork meat is a clear indication of the potential of these isolates in causing foodborne intoxication under favorable conditions to the consumers.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a well‐known opportunistic pathogen widely present in a broad host range, including human beings and food producing animals, such as pigs, cows, goats and chickens. It has the potential to contaminate animal products and they gain entry in to the food chain, during processing, preparation and storage. The wide use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of multi drug resistant strains, particularly Methicillin‐resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The present study highlights the prevalence, antimicrobial resistance with special reference to MRSA and enterotoxin gene profile of S. aureus isolated from retail pork meat. The results will provide the insights of the existing situation of antimicrobial resistance in pork meat in India.