Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in dogs and cats: an emerging problem?

J Small Anim Pract. 2004 Dec;45(12):591-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2004.tb00180.x.


There is concern over transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) between animals and humans. The spread of hospital-acquired and community-acquired MRSA is a major challenge in human medicine. MRSA is rarely isolated from animals but methicillin resistance occurs in staphylococci that are more prevalent in animals. MRSA infections in animals are uncommon and most are associated with exposure to medical hospitals, extensive wounds, prolonged hospitalisation and immunosuppression. The risk to human health appears to be small but a survey of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in animals is required. Thorough investigation of possible zoonotic infections to establish linkage is encouraged. Medical and veterinary staff should appreciate that animals can carry MRSA, cooperate in eliminating infections and monitor animals in medical environments. Veterinary clinics should implement guidelines for dealing with MRSA. Responsible antibiotic use should minimise the spread of antibiotic resistance but a UK monitoring scheme is desirable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier State / veterinary
  • Cat Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / transmission
  • Cats
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Cross Infection
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / transmission
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Public Health*
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission
  • Staphylococcal Infections / veterinary*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses*