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Vet Res. 2010 Sep-Oct;41(5):55. doi: 10.1051/vetres/2010028. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in dogs and cats: a case-control study.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, United Kingdom.


Risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in dogs and cats were investigated in an unmatched case-control study. A total of 197 animals from 150 veterinary practices across the United Kingdom was enrolled, including 105 MRSA cases and 92 controls with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) infection. The association of owners and veterinarian staff with the human healthcare sector (HCS) and animal-related characteristics such as signalment, antimicrobial and immunosuppressive therapy, and surgery were evaluated as putative risk factors using logistic regression. We found that significant risk factors for MRSA infection were the number of antimicrobial courses (p=0.005), number of days admitted to veterinary clinics (p=0.003) and having received surgical implants (p=0.001). In addition, the odds of contact with humans which had been ill and admitted to hospital (p=0.062) were higher in MRSA infected pets than in MSSA controls. The risk factors identified in this study highlight the need to increase vigilance towards identification of companion animal groups at risk and to advocate responsible and judicious use of antimicrobials in small animal practice.

© The authors, published by INRA/EDP Sciences, 2010.

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