A recent medical study found that dogs and cats can transmit drug-resistant bacteria, especially to people with weakened immune systems.
The study was led by Dr. Caroline Hackmann of the Charite University Hospital Berlin, Germany, and the results are set to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases this week in Copenhagen. Science Daily website.
The study was conducted on about 2,800 hospital patients, and their companion animals, as researchers collected swabs from these people, dogs and cats, who live in their homes.
And she says Guardian The team that conducted the research used genetic sequencing to determine the types of bacteria in each sample and the presence of drug-resistant ones. Overall, 30 percent tested positive for what is known as multidrug resistance (MDR).
All 626 animal owners were asked to send throat and stool swabs to their animals. All in all, 300 animal owners sent in samples from 400 animals. Of these samples, 15 percent of dogs and 5 percent of cats tested positive.
“Our findings demonstrate that the sharing of multidrug-resistant bacteria between animals and their owners is possible,” Dr. Hackman said.
And she adds: “Although the level of infection sharing between hospitalized patients and their pets in our study is very low, the vectors of infection may spread the bacteria in their environment for months, and they can be a source of infection for the most vulnerable people in hospitals, such as those with weakened immune systems, the young, or the elderly.”
The Guardian says that the issue of the transmission of drug-resistant bacteria in pets is becoming a growing concern around the world.
It is estimated that antimicrobial-resistant bacteria caused about 1.3 million deaths in 2019.