“Dogs and cats can spread dangerous infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.” Study and recommendation

Taking care of a pet, whether it be a dog or a cat, creates an unbroken emotional bond that brings with it countless psychological benefits. But be careful, because unknowingly, our puppy They can transmit dangerous infections to health Including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That is to say, it is a study conducted by researchers at the University of Lisbon in Portugal and by Sean Frosini The Royal Veterinary College, UK, led by Juliana Menezes (Lisbon) and Sean Frosini (Royal Veterinary College) will be presented at the next European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon. Not only verification of results sharing Bacteria resistant to antibioticsBut also the genes for resistance to these drugs.

Antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to genetic mutations that are bacteria. However, excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics accelerates the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sensitive bacteria die when they are exposed to antibiotics, and resistant bacteria survive and multiply. Resistant bacteria can spread and cause infections in other people who have not used antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is considered a real health emergency. According to the World Health Organization, about 33,000 people in Europe die each year from infections caused by bacterial infections, and in the future this phenomenon will be responsible for 2.4 million deaths in the OECD region alone.

For research, recruit researchers Pair the animals with their owners They had not received a bacterial infection or antibiotic in the previous 3 months. They collected mall samples from 41 families in Portugal and 42 families in the United Kingdom. Samples were collected at monthly intervals for four months, and genetic sequencing was used to detect the presence of both bacterial species and drug resistance genes in each sample.

Researchers have used this technique Molecular fingerprints Known as Rep-PCR, it is quick and easy to use to help identify bacterial strains. Since it is not as sensitive as complete genome sequencing, they also sequence strains to ensure the possible distribution of resistant bacteria. There are bacteria that can spread in animals Escherichia coli (E. coli) is common in the intestines of humans and animals. There are several types and most of them are not harmful but some can cause serious food poisoning and life threatening infections.

The study found that ESBL / AmpC-producing bacteria were detected in 15% of all dogs and cats and 13% of their owners, and that most of them were resistant to antibiotics. In both animals and their owners, the same antibiotic-resistant gene and the same Mdr bacteria were present in some of the samples studied. “Sometimes bacteria may not share, but they may have resistance genes“These genes are found in mobile fragments of DNA, which means they can be transmitted between different bacterial populations in animals and humans,” explains Menezes.

The authors acknowledge some relative methodological limitations in the study Not only is the number of study samples low But also from the observational nature of the study, which is unable to show that close contact with pets leads to the colonization of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Nonetheless, scientists suggest that these findings reinforce the need to practice good hygiene around their pets and reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics in both humans and animals.

Paula Perota

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