Common house spiders could be vectors of Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Richard Roberts


Aim: To identify whether common household spiders such as Tegenaria saeva and Amaurobius ferox are likely vectors and reservoirs for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Methods and Results: Spiders were tested for the presence of S.aureus on the fangs, lower and upper abdomen and the legs. S.aureus was isolated from the fangs and isolates were subcultured to test for oxacillin resistance. Of the sample that was tested a mean of 83.4 x 102 cfu/fang for total counts of S.aureus was found. While 23% of the isolates tested for oxacillin-resistance were oxacillin resistant.

Conclusion: Common household spiders can easily act as vectors and a community reservoir for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Significance and Impact of Study: As T.savea and A.ferox have been identified as possible vectors and reservoirs of MRSA; higher levels of control need to be implemented in the monitoring of household spiders in their movements as well as colonization rates of S.aureus. Classifications of MRSA strains is based upon the Staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec (SCCmec) that the strain carries, however some genetic analyses aren’t able to fully distinguish between SCCmec types and the subtypes due to the complexity of the SCCmec. Thus further analysis of the SCCmec and strains of MRSA needs to be undertaken. This is essential for the control and prevention of the spread of MRSA throughout our community.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus • SCCmec • Community- Hospital- Acquired • Tegenaria saeva • Amaurobius ferox

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