Characterization of Staphylococcus spp. strains in milk from buffaloes with mastitis in Brazil: the need to identify to species level to avoid misidentification

ABSTRACT Mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland that affects dairy cattle worldwide causing economic losses. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are the predominant cause of this type of infection. We have recently showed that coagulase-positive staphylococci could be misidentified. So, the aim of this study was to characterize the Staphylococcus spp. strains initially classified as coagulase-negative Staphylococci, isolated from buffalo with subclinical mastitis. Milk of buffaloes with mastitis in herds was collected and 9 strains were identified as CNS by phenotypic tests. Molecular methodologies latter identified the strains as coagulase-negative Staphylococcus chromogenes (5), coagulase-positive Staphylococcus hyicus (2) and coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus (2). Our results strongly support the need to identify the isolates to a species level in order to avoid misidentification and to be aware of the classification using the coagulase test alone.