Clonal transmission of a rare methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus genotype between horses and staff at a veterinary teaching hospital

Mitchell J. Schwaber, Shiri Navon-Venezia, Samira Masarwa, Sharon Tirosh-Levy, Amos Adler, Inna Chmelnitsky, Yehuda Carmeli, Eyal Klement, Amir Steinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection or colonization has become a serious emerging condition in equine hospitals. Following the detection of MRSA in asymptomatic hospitalized horses and in two horses with post-operative wound infections, an investigation was conducted. Twelve of 84 horses (14.3%) and 16 of 139 personnel (11.5%) were MRSA carriers. The profile of the dominant MRSA strain common to horses and staff was multi-drug-resistant, spa-type t535, SCC. mec type V, pvl-negative. MLST of a representative isolate yielded sequence type (ST) 5. The risk of MRSA carriage among veterinary personnel was greater in equine veterinarians and full-time technicians in comparison to part-time technicians and to other personnel not working with horses. Strict infection control measures were implemented, horses infected or colonized with MRSA were isolated and decolonization of personnel was attempted. Six months after the intervention, the large animal department personnel and hospitalized horses were all MRSA-negative and the decolonization was considered successful. This outbreak, caused by a rare MRSA strain and involving both hospitalized horses and personnel, further demonstrates the ability of MRSA to spread between animals and humans and emphasizes the importance of infection control measures to decrease the risk for MRSA colonization and infection of both horses and personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-911
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Volume162
Issue number2-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Equine
  • Infection control
  • Intervention
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Outbreak
  • Zoonosis

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