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Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2009 Jul;151(7):323-8. doi: 10.1024/0036-7281.151.7.323.

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia isolated from the airways of animals with chronic respiratory disease.

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Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Bern.


Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) is a nonfermentative bacterium, which is naturally resistant against a panel of commonly-used antibiotics. It is frequently isolated from humans with chronic respiratory disease, e.g. cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In veterinary medicine S. maltophilia is perceived to be a mere coloniser. We herewith report 7 strains of S. maltophilia isolated from animals, of which 5 strains were harvested from 3 horses, a dog and a cat with chronic respiratory disease. The dog isolate showed resistance to trimethoprim / sulphamethoxazole, which was confirmed by detection of the sul 1 gene. Analysis with pulsed field gel electrophoresis revealed that 2 horses, which were boarded in the same clinic but two years apart, harboured the same strain of S. maltophilia. This is indicative of a hospital acquired colonisation / infection, which contradicts involvement in the pre-existing chronic disease.

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