Navigation Links
Humans and companion animals harbor the same types of MRSA infections

A shared population of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria circulates both in humans and companion animals, according to a study published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

"Our study demonstrates that humans and companion animals readily exchange and share MRSA bacteria from the same population," says senior author Mark Holmes, senior lecturer in preventive veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge in England. MRSA naturally lives on the skin and also causes difficult-to-treat infections in humans and animals. "It also furthers the 'one health' view of infectious diseases that the pathogens infecting both humans and animals are intrinsically linked, and provides evidence that antibiotic usage in animal medicine is shaping the population of a major human pathogen."

Holmes and colleagues sequenced the genomes of 46 MRSA samples from cats and dogs, collected between August 2003 and August 2007 from two large veterinary hospitals and several smaller veterinary practices throughout the United Kingdom. The samples were found to be similar to those associated with MRSA strains in humans, with most coming from wound infections or skin and soft tissue infections. Additional samples were from the animals' urine; cerebrospinal fluid; nasal wash or discharge; and bloodstream, heart valve or joint infections.

Comparing the samples to a global collection of human MRSA samples sequenced as part of other studies and evaluating the evolution of the bacteria, the investigators found that all animal infections fell in the same family: Epidemic MRSA 15 (EMRSA-15) (sequence type ST22), a common strain of MRSA first detected in the United Kingdom in the 1990s that spread throughout Europe. The bacteria were interspersed throughout the EMRSA-15 genetic family tree. Nearly all samples were genetically similar to human bacteria, and their place in the family tree showed that the companion animal bacteria most likely originated in humans.

Researchers also observed that samples from the same veterinary hospitals clustered together genetically, suggesting that as in human hospitals, MRSA can be readily transmitted in veterinary hospital settings.

"It's a reminder that constant vigilance and high levels of hygiene are just as important when treating cats and dogs as with humans," Holmes says.

Analysis of the genomes showed very little genetic discrimination between bacteria samples from humans and animals, indicating that the MRSA from cats and dogs had not undergone extensive adaptation to the companion animals, suggesting this type of MRSA has a broad host range. But the animal MRSA were significantly less likely than those from humans to have resistance to the antibiotic erythromycin, used rarely in English veterinary practices. Instead, these MRSA from animals were more likely to contain mutations making them resistant to the antibiotic clindamycin, used widely in veterinary medicine in the United Kingdom.

Holmes says pet owners don't need to worry.

"MRSA infection in cats and dogs is still extremely rare," Holmes says. "There is very little risk of owners getting ill from their pets." In addition, he says, healthy pets are not likely to pick up MRSA from their human companions but if a pet already is ill or its health is severely compromised, MRSA patients should inform their pets' veterinarians.


Contact: Jim Sliwa
American Society for Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, says CU-Boulder study
2. Study questions Neandertal inferiority to early modern humans
3. Decrease in large wildlife drives an increase in rodent-borne disease and risk to humans
4. New method confirms humans and Neandertals interbred
5. Technofossils -- an unprecedented legacy left behind by humans
6. Ancient DNA shows moa were fine until humans arrived
7. In grasslands remade by humans, animals may protect biodiversity
8. Presence of humans and urban landscapes increase illness in songbirds, researchers find
9. Horse gaits controlled by genetic mutation spread by humans, new study reveals
10. Written all over your face: Humans express 4 basic emotions rather than 6
11. Humans in nature: The world as we find it and the world as we create it
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... PARIS , November 17, 2015 ... November 2015.   --> Paris from ... --> DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the ... and fingerprints on the same scanning surface. Until now two ... fingerprints. Now one scanner can capture both on the same ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... -- A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite having the ... a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting disorder, report ... MIT and Harvard and the University of São Paolo ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that boosts muscle ... Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel , PhD, ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... YORK , Nov. 10, 2015 ... to behavioral biometrics that helps to identify and ... fraud. Signature is considered as the secure and ... the identification of a particular individual because each ... more accurate results especially when dynamic signature of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 ... president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. th ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim ... provide a corporate overview. --> th Annual Oppenheimer ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper ... unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With ... Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms ... there are no corporate developments that would cause the ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 --> ... research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services ... Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 ... at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: