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Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus in Companion Animals and Association with the Human Healthcare Sector


The aim of this project is to determine whether an association exists between MRSA infection in dogs and cats, and MRSA colonisation or infection in humans closely associated with the affected animals. Two interrelated studies will be conducted.<P>
Firstly, a case-control study will be conducted to assess and quantify animal-related and veterinarian/owner-related risk factors for MRSA infection in dogs and cats. Owner employment, particularly in the healthcare sector, will be assessed as a risk factor for MRSA occurrence in their pets. <P>
The second study will use sophisticated microbiological methods to investigate the degree of similarity between MRSA isolates from animal species and recognised human strains at the molecular and genomic level.
Specific objectives are to determine: <OL> <LI> The risk factors for MRSA infection in dogs and cats
<LI> The relationship between infection of dogs and cats by MRSA and carriage of MRSA by in-contact people
<LI> The association between infection of animals by MRSA and people in contact with human healthcare facilities
<LI> The genetic relationships of MRSA isolated from dogs and cats with those of in-contact people and recognised strains associated with human hospital infections

Royal Veterinary College
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