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MRSA: Hospital superbug 'shared with pets'

RATE THIS! +31
Posted in Science on 22nd May, 2014 07:04 PM by AlexMuller

Pets can harbour the hospital superbug MRSA and it can pass between pets and their owners, research suggests. Cats and dogs have the same strain of the bacterium as people, genetic tests show. MRSA may spread between animals at veterinary clinics in a similar way to hospital infections, according to scientists at Cambridge University.

 
But they say pet owners should not worry as there is very little risk of them getting ill from their pets. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is commonly carried on the skin of healthy people and humans, where it often causes no symptoms. However, it can lead to an infection, particularly when it gets into a wound.
 
Figures suggest about one in 100 cats and 2% to 9% of dogs in the UK are carriers of MRSA. It has also been found in horses. Scientists at the University of Cambridge sequenced the bacterial genomes of samples of MRSA from 42 dogs and four cats.
 
They compared the animal samples to a global collection of human ones. They found the animal strain belonged to the same family as the human form of MRSA found in hospitals. Dr Mark Holmes, senior lecturer in preventative veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge, said the study showed humans and pets could exchange and share MRSA. "They pass it backwards and forwards - they are a reservoir of infection," he told the BBC.

Tags: MRSAbacteriapetshealthcatsdogs

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-23
+3
Bacteria are very adaptable and this is not a surprise. The strategies to deal with MRSA should focus on any possible weaknesses of the bacterium no mater who is the carrier
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-23
+1
The authors state that animals may be a reservoir for human infection, the converse may also be true, with humans passing MRSA to their pets! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-23
+2
Yes, however, MRSA infection in cats and dogs is still extremely rare and there is very little risk of owners getting ill from their pets Also, healthy animals were unlikely to pick up MRSA from their owners Reply
Reply


 

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