Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dutch Girl Contracts MRSA from Friesian Foal, Recovers

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
September 12 2011, Article # 18811

A 16-year-old Dutch girl has recovered after having supposedly acquired an antibiotic-resistant staph wound infection from her Friesian foal, according to a Dutch researcher. This is only the third report of horse-to-human transmission of a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection reported; multiple cases were included in one of the two reports, according to said Engeline van Duijkeren, DVM, PhD, assistant professor in the department of infectious diseases and immunology at the faculty of veterinary medicine at Utrecht University. The other horse-to-human MRSA transmissions occurred in Canada.

Although rare, horse-to-human MRSA transmission does occur, van Duijkeren added.

"Horses can be carriers of MRSA, and this horse carried MRSA without any (clinical signs) of disease," van Duijkeren said. The foal had been hospitalized in a veterinary clinic two months before the girl's infection began, and it's likely where he picked up the bacteria, she added. The foal was being treated for a wound infection, which healed with antibiotics. Although no sample from the wound infection was tested for MRSA, the equine hospital regularly sees MRSA cases, which can be passed to other horses.

In the most recent case, the bacteria--which laboratory testing found to be resistant to the drugs clindamycin, erythromycin, gentamicin, kanamycin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim/sulfonamide--is believed to have entered the girl's body through an open wound (an insect bite) on her leg and colonized, van Duijkeren said. The infection resolved three months later after treatment with mupirocin, fusidic acid, and rifampin, as well as chlorhexidine shampoo baths three times daily...

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