Staphylococcus species of bacteria are common inhabitants of skin and mucous membranes of many animals, including cats and humans. It is important to understand these bacteria and insure their harmlessness in order to secure the health of both cats and their human caregivers.
These investigators characterized Staphylococcus organisms from cats in Brazil to determine if there was any threat to humans from their normal flora. The bacteria were isolated from the oral cavity and were characterized genetically, including the presence of antibiotic resistance genes. A wide variety of strains were characterized, some of which were understudied isolates. . At least 56% of the strains contain plasmids, being 99% resistant to at least one of the eight tested antimicrobials and 12% multidrug resistant.
Prevalence of resistance among staphylococci against antimicrobials used in veterinary and human clinical practice and the zoonotic risk highlight the need of better antimicrobial management practices, as staphylococci may transfer resistance genes among themselves, including to virulent species, like S. aureus. (MK)