Researchers at the University of South Florida are reporting that MRSA infection could be rife in people that have been bitten by dogs or cats.
"As community-acquired strains of MRSA increase in prevalence, a growing body of clinical evidence has documented MRSA colonisation in domestic animals, often implying direct infection from their human owners," said the research team led by Dr Richard Oehler.
The authors added that MRSA colonisation has been documented in companion animals such as horses, dogs, and cats and these animals have been viewed as potential reservoirs of infection. Pet owners may be unaware of the chance of transmission of such infections.
"Clinicians must continue to promote loving pet ownership, take an adequate pet history, and be aware that associated diseases are preventable via recognition, education and simple precautions," the researchers concluded.
MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also called as superbug, has become a huge problem in animals lately. Many experts believe the infection is being transmitted from human owners to pets. In the above review, the researchers said doctors should be aware of the risks of MRSA when treating patients with domestic animal bites.
The details appear in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.