Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
There is concern over transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) between animals and humans. The spread of hospital-acquired and community-acquired MRSA is a major challenge in human medicine. MRSA is rarely isolated from animals but methicillin resistance occurs in staphylococci that are more prevalent in animals. MRSA infections in animals are uncommon and most are associated with exposure to medical hospitals, extensive wounds, prolonged hospitalization and immunosuppression. The risk to human health appears to be small but surveys of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in animals have been conducted. Thorough investigation of possible zoonotic (transmission of disease from animal to human) infections to establish linkage is encouraged. Humans and animals can carry MRSA.
Cooperation in eliminating infections and monitoring animals and humans in veterinary and medical environments is important. Responsible antibiotic use should minimize the spread of antibiotic resistance.
The "Worms and Germs" blog by the University of Guelph has a page with realistic information for pet owners concerned with Staph infections, MRSA, MRSP: http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/