Risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in dogs and cats: a case-control study

Soares-Magalhaes, R J and Loeffler, A and Lindsay, J A and Rich, M and Roberts, L and Smith, H and Lloyd, D H and Pfeiffer, D U (2010) Risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in dogs and cats: a case-control study. VETERINARY RESEARCH, 41 (5). p. 55.

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Abstract

Risk factors for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in dogs and cats were investigated in an unmatched case-control study. A total of 197 animals from 150 veterinary practices across the United Kingdom was enrolled, including 105 MRSA cases and 92 controls with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) infection. The association of owners and veterinarian staff with the human healthcare sector (HCS) and animal-related characteristics such as signalment, antimicrobial and immunosuppressive therapy, and surgery were evaluated as putative risk factors using logistic regression. We found that significant risk factors for MRSA infection were the number of antimicrobial courses (p = 0.005), number of days admitted to veterinary clinics (p = 0.003) and having received surgical implants (p = 0.001). In addition, the odds of contact with humans which had been ill and admitted to hospital (p = 0.062) were higher in MRSA infected pets than in MSSA controls. The risk factors identified in this study highlight the need to increase vigilance towards identification of companion animal groups at risk and to advocate responsible and judicious use of antimicrobials in small animal practice.