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Meticillin-resistant commensal staphylococci in the oral cavity of healthy cats: a reservoir of meticillin resistance
  1. I. M. Muniz, PhD,
  2. B. Penna, PhD and
  3. W. Lilenbaum, PhD
  1. Veterinary Bacteriology Laboratory, Universdade Federal Fluminense, R. Prof. Hernani Mello,101/309. Zipcode 24210-130, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil
  1. E-mail for correspondence: pennanet{at}gmail.com

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Staphylococcus species are recognised as constituents of the microbiota of several animal species, and have been isolated from various samples of healthy and diseased cats, including saliva (Lilenbaum and others 1999). Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are shared between pets and their human handlers, particularly community-acquired MRSA (Oehler and others 2009), and represent an important emerging syndrome in veterinary and human medicine. An increased incidence of human infection with MRSA has resulted in an increased awareness and concern regarding other meticillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) species that affect veterinary patients. Meticillin resistance is mediated by the mecA gene, which encodes for altered penicillin binding protein 2a (PBP2a), which confers intrinsic resistance to all β-lactam antibiotics.

Although some studies have evaluated the presence of staphylococci in the oral cavity of cats, only a few have addressed the presence of MRS. Cats lick themselves and others, and the presence of MRS isolates in cat saliva could serve as a possible source of opportunistic infections. Also, it has been established that animals colonised by MRS can serve as a reservoir for human infections (Cuny and others 2010). Many studies have examined the …

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