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Res Vet Sci. 2012 Aug;93(1):133-6. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.06.017. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

Screening for methicillin-resistant staphylococci in dogs admitted to a veterinary teaching hospital.

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Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center, CODA-CERVA-VAR, Groeselenberg 99, B-1180 Ukkel, Belgium.


This study investigated the nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) in dogs (n=177) prior to medical examination or surgery in a veterinary teaching hospital. Nasal swab samples were collected after induction of anaesthesia and incubated overnight in salt enriched trypticase-soy broth. Cultures were analysed on two different agar media containing cefoxitin. Suspected MRS isolates were genotypically identified and characterised by antimicrobial susceptibility testing and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec)-typing. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates were additionally characterised by spa-typing and multilocus sequence typing. The presence of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (pvl) genes was determined by PCR. MRS carriage was compared between animals with or without an infectious process. Two MRSA were isolated, both belonging to typical Belgian human hospital clones and lacking pvl. Additionally a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus haemolyticus carrying a type V SCCmec was detected. No relationship was observed between MRS carriage and presence of infections. The results suggest that MRS are present in dogs originating from the community, albeit at a low prevalence. This could pose risks for cross contamination of dogs and their owners.

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