Accurate identification of atypical Staphylococcus chromogenes plasma-clotting strains causing bovine mastitis

ABSTRACT: We compared the potential of routine techniques used for the identification of Staphylococcus species, aiming to evaluate their accuracy in the detection of 43 Staphylococcus chromogenes strains isolated from bovine mastitis that, despite being a coagulase-negative species, are able to clot plasma. These strains could be mistakenly suspected to be S. aureus and lead to an unappropriated treatment of the disease. MALDI-TOF, PCR-RFLP of the chaperonine gene groEL, and sequencing of the 16S rRNA and elongation factor Tu gene tuf were employed. Results from the four methods were coincident for only half of the strains because of the low accuracy of the groEL PCR-RFLP (51.2% accuracy). Even though all the sequencing results were identical, the high accuracy of the MALDI-TOF results (97.7% accuracy, with only one strain misidentified) encourage the use of this technique, since it does not require laborious sample preparation, being fast and simple to perform.