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Hendon Times, August 25 2005 -Memorial to first canine victim of superbug
A dog's life: one year after the first known canine death from MRSA in Britain, the dog's owner, Jill Moss, planted a memorial tree at her home, in Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware, on Sunday. Ms Moss's ten-year-old Samoyed breed, Belles, contracted the superbug following an operation. She was joined by friends of her charity, the Bella Moss Foundation, which offers advice on the issue. For details visit wwwthebellamossfoundation.com
Letter to Vet Times 19-9-05
Data needed for DEFRA funded MRSA study
Dear Editor, We are conducting a study to identify risk factors associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in companion animals. This study is funded by DEFRA and conducted by the Royal Veterinary College in collaboration with IDEXX Laboratories, Wetherby, and St George's Hospital, London.
If one of your patients has been diagnosed with MRSA infection at our laboratories, we will contact you to ask for your participation in this study. This will involve taking a nasal swab from volunteering veterinary staff who have been in contact with the infected pet, and from the pet's owners.
Each participant will also be asked to fill in a short questionnaire about possible risk factors. All swab samples will be processed by IDEXX Laboratories with numbered codes to ensure confidentiality and participants will be informed about their results in person by RVC project staff.
MRSA isolates will be genetically analysed at St George's to provide evidence relatingto the likelihood of transfer of S. aureus between humans and animals. Should you agree to participate, we will send you information leaflets for veterinary staff and for pet owners, together with the questionnaires and swab material.
his study has been approved by the Bedfordshire Local Research Ethics Committee via the Central Allocation System of the Central Office for Research Ethics Committees (COREC).
For further information please telephone RVC project staff (Professor David Lloyd, Dr Anette Loeffler, Dr Ricardo Soares Magalhaes) on 01707 666234 or Michael Rich or Dr Larry Roberts, at IDEXX Laboratories, on 0 1937 544000.
DIRK PFEIFFER, DAVID LLOYD, ANETTE LOEFFLER and RICARDO SOARES-MAGALHAES, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, North Mymms, Herts AL9 7TA.
MICK RICH and LARRY ROBERTS, IDEXX Laboratories, Sandbeck Way, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 7DN.
JODI LINDSAY, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St George's Hospital, Cranmer Terrace, London SW 17 ORE.
Letter to The Veterinary Times, March 27 2005
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from companion animals SIR, - Following the recent letter to The Veterinary Record (March 6, p 310) and interest in the popular press (The Observer, December 14, 2003), we would like to report an apparent increase in the number of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections that we have been following at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA), Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Hertfordshire, in recent months.
We have seen 12 confirmed cases since November 2003, five in cats and seven in dogs. The isolates were cultured from urine (three cases), bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (one case), pleural effusion (one case), non-healing wounds (two cases), a fresh (<36 hours old) wound (one case), infections of previous sutures (two cases), a nasal swab in an animal with upper respiratory tract disease (one case) and a postmortem isolate from adrenal gland culture in a dog euthanased for presumed discospondylitis.
Following confirmation of infection, nasal swabs were taken in five of these cases and revealed MRSA colonisation of the nasopharynx in all of them. It is not clear whether mucosal colonisation had been the source of infection in these animals or whether they had become colonised subsequent to their infection. Although the origin of the infection remains uncertain, it seems likely that in most cases the organism had been present on admission to the hospital; it was isolated from swabs taken shortly after admission or from deep lesions that had not been exposed to the hospital environment before swabbing.
MRSA had also been isolated from chronic skin lesions unresponsive to routine antimicrobial therapy in two dogs referred for skin disease between November 2002 and November 2003. Both dogs had been seen as outpatients. The prevalence of MRSA carriage in the human community in the UK is largely unknown but appears to be increasing (Robinson and Enright 2004). Although canine infection with MRSA was first described in the UK and North. America in 1999 (Tomlin and others 1999), there is little information on the incidence of colonisation in companion animals and whether this may be related to colonisation of in-contact humans.
However, a recent case report documented MRSA transfer between a human couple with recurrent MRSA infections and their pet dog (Manian 2003). At the RVCQMHA, we have recently completed a screening programme in which we have sampled staff and patients for pathogenic staphylococci, with a focus on MRSA. The results will be available shortly and will be published in due course.
Considering the potential implications of MRSA infection and colonisation in companion animals for antimicrobial treatment strategies and the transfer of antimicrobial resistance in both medical and veterinary fields, we are writing this letter to raise further awareness of this issue within the profession.
D. H. Lloyd,
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Campus, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
Nani Linder, well-known American author, has pledged support to The Bella Moss Foundation by donating a day’s royalties from her book ‘Trial By Fire: A True Story of Hope’ to the Foundation.
‘Today I personally appeal to all of humanity to take the time to read of this looming threat from a courageous woman named Jill Moss who is determined to turn tragedy into awareness and support scientific research for the cure of this disease called MRSA.
While her appeal is a direct one for pets, this shall also benefit humans because shining the light on this serious Staph infection keeps human medical caregivers alert and scientists vigilant.’
Nani has arranged that all of the royalties received from the October 4 sales of her book to go directly to The Foundation. Jill Moss, President of The Foundation said, ‘Oct. 4, 2005, is WORLD ANIMAL DAY and The Bella Moss Foundation will host a fundraiser for the serious problem of MRSA in pets.
This is a straight up appeal; no advertising, no offers of freebies, no one will contact you to buy their stuff. The author is not on any list for best-seller gain. Only The Foundation will gain, but the long-term benefits will include all humanity.
The bonus is pets shall gain if all of us unite and spend a little to make headway against MRSA. This is a humanitarian appeal sent worldwide by the Bella Moss Foundation.
‘World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence to highlight the plight of endangered species. Since then it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and is celebrated throughout the world by animal welfare organisations, conservation groups, schools, places of worship and individuals.
In 2003 UK animal welfare group Naturewatch took the unusual step of sponsoring a website devoted to the day (worldanimalday.org.uk), where anyone interested in using the day to spread awareness of animal welfare issues can post details of their event free of charge.’
On the WAD website you can download a free e-card greeting of Bella to send to your friends and family.
Nani’s book, ‘Trial By Fire: A True Story of Hope’ is available at amazon.co.uk for �12.95, all of which will go to the Bella Moss Foundation.
Alternatively, contact can be made directly with the publishers buybooksontheweb.com by fax through their website.
Jill added ‘We have no idea how many people will buy this book, but the more that do, the more we can raise for our work. I think it’s also important that people know this is an exceptionally good book and real source of inspiration.’
Please ask as many people as possible to buy this book on October 4th 2005.
Click below to view this article which highlighted recent activity by Defra in response to challenges surrounding pets & MRSA
Daily Mail, Monday, August 15
Could you get MRSA bug from Your pet?
Inquiry after scientists claim hundreds of animals have been infected: By Beth Hale
MINISTERS have launched an inquiry into the spread of-MRSA to animals following reports of a sharp rise in the number of pets infected. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has set up a committee to investigate the extent to which the deadly superbug has infiltrated vets' surgeries.
There are fears that the antibioticresistant infection could be transferred between pets and their owners - or even enter the food chain if livestock are carrying the bug. MRSA - methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus - is carried harmlessly by one in three humans but can prove fatal in the elderly, newborn babies and those with a weakened immune system. About 5,000 hospital patients die from it every year.
The bug was first documented in an animal in 1999 but the extent to which it has spread is unclear. Small-scale studies have suggested that up to 10 per cent of dogs carry MRSA and the British Veterinary Association has been reporting between ten and 12 cases a year of animals being infected.
However, scientists at an Idexx veterinary research laboratory recently alerted the Government after encountering 310 cases of MRSA in animals over the past two and a half years. Members of the new committee will include actress Jill Moss, who has led a campaign to raise awareness of the risks of MRSA in pets after her dog Bella became the UK's first recorded canine victim of the bacteria.
Bella, a ten-year-old white samoyed, suffered blood poisoning, pneumonia and organ failure caused by MRSA after an operation a year ago on a torn ligament. She had been injured chasing a squirrel near Miss Moss's home in Edgware, NorthWest London. Her wound became infected a week after surgery and despite a further operation, she had to be put down. Since then, an eight-year-old alsatian called Connell is also known to have died from MRSA, along with at least one cat and several rabbits and guinea pigs.
Miss Moss, who has appeared in TV shows such as The Bill and EastEnders, said: `I never in my wildest dreams thought Bella might contract MRSA. If it had been diagnosed earlier she might still be here. `The real problem is that vets are reluctant to admit they have a problem in their surgeries. They blame the owners but often they are operating in conditions that aren't good enough.'
Miss Moss, 34, said the committee, which will include several health professionals, will look at how to stop MRSA escalating in animals and help to establish the best advice for vets. It is not known what, if any, danger MRSA in animals poses to humans. The veterinary association urges vets to take similar precautions to hospitals but points out there have been no recorded cases of MRSA being passed from animals to humans and it is highly unlikely the bug could enter the food chain.
Victim: Bella with owner Jill Moss
Link: Today - 999 Today
Click the link above for more on this helpful story
The Bella Moss Foundation and the PETS-MRSA website exist to raise awareness and educate both animal-owners and veterinary professionals. Jill and her supporters back this up with campaigning, distributing material, talking to people and piloting research studies. Undoubtedly the team works very hard, and Jill makes the following poignant comment about her work: "The hardest part for me is telling my story over and over, but I do so to help raise awareness and save the lives of our pets," she says.
If your pet suffers from a poorly healing wound with possible MRSA or other bacterial infection, the following field study may of use to you. Researchers at the University of Lincoln are looking to field test the effectiveness of a barrier cream to help prevent MRSA infections in pets.If you have a horse or companion animal with MRSA please visit http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/dbs/researchprojects-participate.htm
MRSA Pet Basics
What is MRSA and how does it affect animals?
How did my dog become colonized with MRSA?
Are some animals more MRSA prone than others?
What are the MRSA challenges for dogs with dermatitis issues?
What kinds of treatment are available for animals with MRSA?
Should I isolate my mrsa positive pet?
Is it possible for dogs to be decolonized?
What should I be asking my vet about MRSA
MRSA, Your Home and Your Pet
What can you do at home to help your MRSA infected pet?
Is there bedding that will help a animal with an MRSA infection?
If family members and/or pets are mrsa positive will a newborn catch it?
Is clothing and other household items an MRSA problem for pets?
If my pet is MRSA positive will I catch it?
Will my MRSA positive pet contaminate my home?
Infection Control and Your Pet
How long does MRSA stay alive on surfaces
Handwashing to halt MRSA spread - what's the best method?
Will my pet get MRSA if they eat infected bandages?
What is good infection control practice for Pet Visitor animals?
How can I choose a good vet