Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: an issue for veterinary hospitals

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from a cluster of clinical cases at a veterinary hospital by molecular epidemiological techniques.

Methods

Antimicrobial susceptibility testing, spa typing, multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis were used to compare 16 isolates of MRSA. Four isolates were cultured from clinical cases thought to be involved in the cluster. A single isolate that was unrelated to the cluster and the remaining 10 isolates were obtained from nasal swabs submitted by staff and students during a subsequent survey of MRSA carriage.

Results

Isolates from four clinical cases and an isolate obtained from a staff member were the same strain of MRSA. Some key risk factors associated with transmission of MRSA within veterinary hospitals were identified.

Conclusion

The information provided by these techniques was invaluable in developing procedures and identifying risk factors to help reduce the effect of future outbreaks within veterinary hospitals.

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