Case reports have indicated transmission of Staphylococcus aureus between humans and pets. We investigated associations between level of contact between dog and owner, and S. aureus colonization. In a cross-sectional study, nasal carriage and antibiotic susceptibility of S. aureus was determined for 830 dogs and 736 owners. Relatedness of isolates was investigated using antibiograms and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Associations between carriage and demographics or amount of contact between owners and dogs were documented. S. aureus was isolated in 24% of humans and 8·8% of dogs. Antibiotic resistance was significantly more common in canine isolates. Of 17 owner/ dog colonized pairs, six were indistinguishable by PFGE. Colonization of dogs was not associated with close human contact, but was strongly associated with health-care occupations (OR 3·29, 95% CI 1·49-7·26, P = 0·002). In outbreak situations health-care workers' pets should be considered as a source of S. aureus. High rates of resistance indicate increased monitoring of antibiotic use in veterinary practice is needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases