• carriage;
  • dog;
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus;
  • veterinary personnel


To explore the prevalence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in veterinary medical practices, MRSA carriage was tested among 96 veterinarians (Vets), 70 veterinary technicians (VTs) and 292 dogs with which they had contact at 71 private veterinary clinics (VCs) in Hokkaido, Japan. MRSA isolates were obtained from 22 Vets [22.9%] and 7 VTs [10%]. The prevalence of MRSA among Vets was as high as that found in an academic veterinary hospital in our previous study. In contrast, only two blood donor dogs and one dog with liver disease (1.0%, 3/292) yielded MRSA. All MRSA-positive dogs were reared or treated in different VCs, in each of which at least one veterinary staff member carrying MRSA worked. Sequence types (ST) identified by multilocus sequence typing, spa types, and SCCmec types for canine MRSA isolates (ST5-spa t002-SCCmec II [from two dogs] or ST30-spa t021-SCCmec IV [from a dog]) were concordant with those from veterinary staff members in the same clinics as the MRSA-positive dogs, with which they had potentially had contact. Most MRSA isolates from veterinary staff were the same genotype (SCCmec type II and spa type t002) as a major hospital-acquired MRSA clone in Japan. The remaining MRSA was the same genotypes as domestic and foreign community-associated MRSA. Measures against MRSA infection should be provided in private VCs.