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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Aug;76(15):5165-74. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02780-09. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Occurrence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius in an academic veterinary hospital.

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  • 1School of Veterinary Medicine, Rakuno Gakuen University, 582 Midorimachi Bunkyodai Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8501, Japan.


Recently, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) have been increasingly isolated from veterinarians and companion animals. With a view to preventing the spread of MRSA and MRSP, we evaluated the occurrence and molecular characteristics of each in a veterinary college. MRSA and MRSP were isolated from nasal samples from veterinarians, staff members, and veterinary students affiliated with a veterinary hospital. Using stepwise logistic regression, we identified two factors associated with MRSA carriage: (i) contact with an identified animal MRSA case (odds ratio [OR], 6.9; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.2 to 21.6) and (ii) being an employee (OR, 6.2; 95% CI, 2.0 to 19.4). The majority of MRSA isolates obtained from individuals affiliated with the veterinary hospital and dog patients harbored spa type t002 and a type II staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), similar to the hospital-acquired MRSA isolates in Japan. MRSA isolates harboring spa type t008 and a type IV SCCmec were obtained from one veterinarian on three different sampling occasions and also from dog patients. MRSA carriers can also be a source of MRSA infection in animals. The majority of MRSP isolates (85.2%) carried hybrid SCCmec type II-III, and almost all the remaining MRSP isolates (11.1%) carried SCCmec type V. MRSA and MRSP were also isolated from environmental samples collected from the veterinary hospital (5.1% and 6.4%, respectively). The application of certain disinfection procedures is important for the prevention of nosocomial infection, and MRSA and MRSP infection control strategies should be adopted in veterinary medical practice.

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