Dogs spread hospital superbug

A number of dogs have been found to carry the MRSA superbug, an infection that is widespread in hospital settings. As the bacteria can be passed from animals to humans, the National Veterinary Institute (Statens veterinärmedicinska anstalt - SVA) has described the development as a public health problem.

“The problem we see is that they are going to act both as the source and the spreaders of the infection. They will mainly spread it to staff at veterinary clinics but also to other people,” SVA antibiotics expert Anders Franklin told Svenska Dagbladet.

MRSA are resistant to antibiotics. The first Swedish case of a dog becoming infected with the bacteria was recorded at a clinic in Stockholm last autumn. Since then a number of further cases have been found.

Tests at Bagarmossen Regional Veterinary Clinic revealed that 13 out of 71 staff members were infected with the same strain of the MRSA bacteria as the dogs.

“But we have not been able to isolate the source of the infection, so we don’t know how it has spread either when it comes to the staff or the dogs,” said veterinarian Margareta Wellander.