Recently a Thoroughbred in a Japanese veterinary hospital was diagnosed with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a bacterium that causes infection in various parts of the body. The question soon arose – how did the horse contract the deadly and difficult-to-treat disease?
The attending veterinarians, who work for the Japan Racing Association (JRA), conducted an investigation into the matter and Taisuke Kuroda, DVM, PhD, presented their findings to attendees of the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention, held this past year in San Antonio, Texas.
MRSA is a Gram-positive bacterium that is often difficult to treat due to its resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. The bacterium colonizes on the skin and in nasal passages of its host. Three methods of transmission of the disease have been identified in humans: person-to-person in a community, patients-to-healthcare workers in a clinic setting and between humans and livestock.
To determine how the horse in question became infected with MRSA, researchers took nasal swabs of horses and humans working at two training centers, and also from veterinarians and office staff working at the facilities. The results suggested that MRSA was being transmitted between horses and veterinary staff.
Read more at The Horse.
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