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Abstract

Prevalence of Community-Associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci in Clinically Normal Companion Animals

Amanda R. Taylor, BA1; Virginia R. Fajt, DVM, PhD, DACVCP 2; Mark J. Stickney, DVM 3; Melissa C. Libal, MA, DVM, DACVM 1

1 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

2 Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

3 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Structured Abstract

Objective

Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been found to have a relatively low prevalence in the human population, as little as 0.76%.2 The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in clinically normal companion animals in the community.

Sample population

Clinically normal cats and dogs 4 months of age or older not on antibiotics or hospitalized within the past 6 months.

Procedure

Swabs of the nares were collected from clinically normal cats and dogs. Generally, swabs were cultured on blood agar in addition to being screened with selective media containing oxacillin and NaCl. Staphylococci were identified based on colony morphology, gram staining, catalase production and a tube coagulase test. Staphylococcus species were determined using the API Staph IDENT system. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of oxacillin for Staphylococcus isolates was determined using the Vitek system. Oxacillin-resistant isolates were further examined for the mecA gene product, PBP2, using a commercial system (Oxoid).

Results

To date, the investigators have isolated ten coagulase-positive staphylococci. Testing has been completed on three of the ten isolates, all of which were methicillin-susceptible

 Staphylococcus intermedius. The species and antimicrobial sensitivity of the other seven isolates have not yet been determined.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Preliminary results in this study do not support the hypothesis that clinically normal companion animals are carriers of methicillin-resistant staphylococci. Further testing and statistical analyses must be completed to make additional conclusions