Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius among dogs admitted to a small animal hospital
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) among dogs admitted to a small animal hospital during a 17-month period, to characterize these isolates and to initially screen for possible factors associated with MRSP carriage. Swabs were taken from the nose/pharynx and the perineum as well as from wounds and skin infections (if present) of 814 dogs before entering the small animal hospital. A questionnaire for background information was completed. The staphylococcal species and methicillin resistance were confirmed pheno- and genotypically. The identified MRSP isolates were characterized by SCCmec typing, testing for susceptibility to 25 antimicrobial agents and SmaI-directed pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. A first screening for possible risk factors for MRSP carriage was performed by means of unifactorial contingency tables and CART analysis. Sixty (7.4%) dogs were positive for MRSP. All MRSP isolates harboured a type II-III SCCmec cassette and showed extended resistance to antimicrobial agents. Fifteen different SmaI patterns were observed. The major factors that clustered with MRSP carriage were former hospitalization and antibiotic treatment within the last six months before sampling. This study showed that only a minor part of the sampled dogs carried multi-resistant MRSP isolates. The facts that prior hospitalization and/or antibiotic therapy are potential associated factors for MRSP carriage underline the necessity of a judicious use of antibiotics in small animal medicine.