The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in companion animals is a concern for human health. One organism of concern in human medicine is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This bacteria is commonly found in people, but only rarely in dogs and cats. Dogs and cats, on the other hand, are infected most commonly with Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP). Investigation of dogs and cats in Portugal, where MRSA is a problem, discovered that pets were found to harbor MSRP relatively commonly. These bacteria had significant antibiotic resistance, and when wounds or other internal tissues are infected opportunistically, treatment can be difficult. There is potential for MRSP in pets to be passed to humans, though the extent of this occurrence remains unknown. Further research is needed to define the role, if any, of MRSP in human infections. [MK]
Ferreira, J. P., K. L. Anderson, et al. (2011). “Transmission of MRSA between Companion Animals and Infected Human Patients Presenting to Outpatient Medical Care Facilities.” PLoS ONE 6(11): e26978.