Short Takes

July 2008 Issue

Short Takes: 07/08

Cats and MRSA; feline friends are priceless; a new book of playful ideas.

Thereís more finger-pointing toward pets as "reservoirs" of MRSA, the hard-to stop bacterium methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This time the New England Journal of Medicine (Vol. 358, No. 11) reports on a German woman who suffered deep abscesses and necrotizing pneumonia. The womanís cat seemed healthy enough ó until tests found the pet infected with a form of MRSA that is extremely rare in humans, spa-type t131 MRSA. Doctors at the Bavarian Food and Health Safety Authority said: "The abscesses in our patient healed only after antibiotic treatment of the cat. It remains unclear whether the cat was the source of the patientís infection or vice versa . . . We conclude that pets could be considered as possible household reservoirs of MRSA that can cause infection or reinfection in humans."

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