Link: Entrez PubMed.
Staphylococcus aureus isolates (n = 70) from 65 patients (36 canine, 18 equine, 7 bovine, 2 avian, and 2 feline) at seven veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States were studied. The majority of patients (83%) with an S. aureus infection were canine and equine, but this may have reflected a sample bias based on clinic case loads and diagnostic lab submissions at the participating institutions. Fourteen percent of patients with an S. aureus infection were infected with a methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolate. Six of seven institutions had at least one MRSA infection during the study. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis on 63 of the 70 isolates yielded 58 unique strains of S. aureus. None of the strain types of the MRSA isolates matched each other or the type of any other S. aureus isolate. The proportions of patients infected with an MRSA isolate were not significantly different between institutions or animal species (P > or = 0.222). Methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates in this study seemed to be community acquired rather than hospital acquired.