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N Z Vet J. 2008 Oct;56(5):237-42. doi: 10.1080/00480169.2008.36840.

Clinically overt infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in animals in New Zealand: a pilot study.

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1
Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. a.grinberg@massey.ac.nz

Abstract

AIM:

To describe clinically overt infections with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in animals in New Zealand, characterise clinical isolates, and track their sources.

METHODS:

MRSA isolates identified in 2005 and 2006 by a veterinary diagnostic laboratory were referred to Massey University for confirmation and characterisation. Clinical information was extracted from the laboratory records or obtained from referring clinicians.

RESULTS:

Seven MRSA isolates from animals and contact persons were characterised. All the isolates belonged to the British epidemic MRSA 15 strain (EMRSA-15). Three EMRSA-15 were isolated from post-operative infections in two dogs. An EMRSA-15 indistinguishable from the isolate recovered from one dog was isolated from the anterior nares of a healthy hospital staff member involved in the care of the animal, suggesting nosocomial transmission. Other EMRSA-15 isolates of uncertain clinical significance were isolated from the femoral head of a cat, and from a sample of cow's milk. AlleMRSA-15 isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin, and four were resistant to erythromycin; the latter four isolates also exhibited inducible resistance to clindamycin.

CONCLUSIONS:

MRSA can cause clinically overt and difficult-to-treat infections in animals in New Zealand. The rapid emergence of EMRSA-15 as the dominant MRSA strain in humans has resulted in infection spill over to animals.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Little is known about the incidence of clinically overt infections with MRSA in animals. The cases described here illustrate the complexities involved in the pharmacological management of EMRSA-15 infections, which is compounded by the universal resistance to beta-lactams, and by the strain's fluoroquinolone resistance and frequent inducible resistance to clindamycin. Such complexities indicate there is a need to develop specific empirical antimicrobial treatment strategies and antibiotic susceptibility testing protocols in countries where EMRSA-15 is dominant.

PMID:
18836505
DOI:
10.1080/00480169.2008.36840
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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