Possible pet-human bacteria link studied

March 22, 2006

Scientists at an international conference in Atlanta say they're investigating a possible link between antibiotic resistance in pets and pet owners.

The developing resistance of certain bacteria to specific antibiotics has been an important human health problem, The New York Times reported Wednesday, but now the problem is occurring in dogs and cats.

U.S., Canadian and European scientists attending the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases are specifically concerned about the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of staphylococcal infections among people.

The same genetic strains of S. aureus have been turning up in both human and animal cases, suggesting a connection, scientists told the Times said.

Dr. Nina Morano of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters the problem is serious enough to cause her agency to add questions about exposure to dogs, cats and other pets in large studies concerning human staphylococcal infections.

After S. aureus among humans developed resistance to penicillin many years ago, doctors started prescribing another antibiotic, methicillin. But S. aureus infections soon became resistant to methicillin and now the methicillin-resistant bacterium is being found in dogs, cats and horses.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Misconceptions about a popular pet treat: Tasty bully sticks can add calories and carry bacteria

Related Stories

Study finds MRSA in Midwestern swine, workers

January 23, 2009

The first study documenting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in swine and swine workers in the United States has been published by University of Iowa researchers.

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?

Could 'The Day After Tomorrow' happen?

October 9, 2015

A researcher from the University of Southampton has produced a scientific study of the climate scenario featured in the disaster movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'.

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.