Staphylococcus aureus colonization in cats and their owners : a prevalence study in Hong Kong

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Staphylococcus aureus colonization in cats and their owners : a prevalence study in Hong Kong


Author: Wong, Siu-ping
Title: Staphylococcus aureus colonization in cats and their owners : a prevalence study in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Staphylococcus aureus.
Cat owners -- Health and hygiene -- China -- Hong Kong.
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: iii, 119 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This study aimed to examine prevalence of colonization with Staphylococcus aureus in cats and their owners. To determine carriage rates of S. aureus and other coagulase-positive staphylococcal species in cats, two populations (feral and domestic) were surveyed for nasal microflora and cat owners were investigated for colonization of with S. aureus. Nasal swabs from 396 cats and 216 owners were examined, antibiotic sensitivities and risk factors for colonization were determined and co-colonization relationships were investigated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The relative frequency of microorganisms in the feline nasal environment varied with the habitat of the cats. A higher number of isolates per cat was found in feral than in domestic cats. Staphylococcus species were the most frequently encountered organisms, followed by gram-negative bacilli. The overall nasal carriage rates of S. aureus and S. intermedius among cats were 7.1% and 4.7% respectively. The prevalence of S. aureus carriage in feral cats was 8.8%, while in domestic cats was 5.6%. Presence of other animals in the household affected carriage rates as domestic cats in single-cat households had a higher carriage rate of S. aureus (Fisher's exact test, p = 0.027). In cat-and-dog households, cats seemed to have higher carriage rates of S. intermedius. No statistically significant associations of carriage rates of S. aureus and S. intermedius with the sex or age of cats were demonstrated. Of 5". aureus isolates from cats, 87.5% were resistant to penicillin. Resistance to erythromycin (12.5%), tetracycline (16.7%) and clindamycin (12.5%) was observed, with rates for erythromycin and clindamycin being higher in domestic cats. However, there was less penicillin resistance in isolates from domestic cats than from wild cats and this did not reach statistically significant. Tetracycline resistance was only found in strains isolated from wild cats. No MRSA was isolated from cats. Of 16 feline S. intermedius isolates, feral isolates were more susceptible to antimicrobial agents than those from domestic cats. Only penicillin resistance was seen in feral isolates. One methicillin-resistant S. intermedius (MRSI) was isolated. A total of 53 S. aureus strains were isolated from 208 pet owners, and 41 from the 161 owners whose cats' samples yielded growth. The prevalence of S. aureus carriage in the analyzed group was 25.5% and the MRSA colonization rate was 1.2% (95% CI 0 - 3.0). Only two MRSA strains were isolated, one strain from a owner employed in a healthcare facility appeared to be healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). The second appeared to be community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) as the owner had no health related risk factors and the isolate was only resistant to P-lactam antibiotics. 5. aureus colonization was identified in four pairs of cats and their owners, with three pairs of strains being indistinguishable by PFGE. Two of the 3 co-colonized owners were healthcare workers, suggesting that colonization of S. aureus between cats and their owners is associated with working in healthcare facility.

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