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Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carriage in UK veterinary staff and owners of infected pets: new risk groups

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage on admission to hospital remains one of the most important risk factors for subsequent infection. Identification of high risk groups for MRSA carriage is vital for the success of infection control programmes. Veterinary staff may be one such risk group but little is known about pet owners and the role of contact with infected pets. As part of a UK-wide case-control study investigating risk factors for MRSA infection in dogs and cats between 2005 and 2008, 608 veterinary staff and pet owners in contact with 106 MRSA and 91 meticillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA)-infected pets were screened for S. aureus nasal carriage. This study indicates for the first time an occupational risk for MRSA carriage in small animal general practitioners. Veterinary staff and owners of MRSA-infected pets are high risk groups for MRSA carriage despite not having direct hospital links. Strategies to break the cycle of MRSA infection must take these potential new reservoirs into account. J Hosp Infect. 2010;74(3):282-8. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Author: Loeffler A, Pfeiffer DU, Lloyd DH, et al

Posted: 20/07/2010

Published: 01/01/2010

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Journal of Hospital Infection