Supper excitement in cats can be transmitted to humans and cattle
Is it possible for a resistant strain of bacteria to spread from animals to humans? Australian researchers have now discovered such a strain of bacteria in a domestic cat. This so-called super-pathogen could be able to infect humans and cattle and thus become a great danger to public health.
A team of scientists from Murdoch University, the University of Sydney, the Concord Hospital and the University of Adelaide in Australia found a Salmonella strain in a cat that is resistant to carbapenems. This drug is used as the last line of defense against Salmonella in Australian hospitals. The doctors released a press release on the results of the investigation.
It is important to prevent infections from spreading
"For the first time, we discovered a Salmonella strain in a pet that is resistant to most antimicrobial drugs," say the experts. This resistance poses a serious threat to public health, explains the author Dr. Sam Abraham. A collaboration between animal and human health specialists led to the identification of the resistant bacteria. The scientists now have to curb the bacterial strain and prevent the spread of infections.
Cat carries a bacterial strain with a highly resistant IMP-4 gene
The bacteria were found when a cat with upper respiratory infection developed an intestinal infection during treatment at the Concord Veterinary Clinic in New South Wales, the researchers say. The initial analysis of Salmonella revealed that this bacterium had never been discovered in Australia before. The cat was infected with a Salmonella bacterial strain with the highly resistant IMP-4 gene, the doctors explain.
Three additional cats are infected
A further eight cats at the veterinary clinic were then tested for the bacterium. Three of the animals examined actually carried the resistant bacterium. Dr. Richard Malik from the University of Sydney and Dr. Elaine Cheong from Concord Hospital has been tasked with containing the outbreak.
Medic: Outbreak is under control
One of the animals had no symptoms even though it was kept in the same room. However, the cat had no direct contact with the sick animal and was moved to another room in the clinic, explains Dr Malik. The outbreak could be kept under control. The other cats' positive tests showed that the bacterial species could be very transferable.
Gulls in New South Wales also carry the bacterial strain
The study of the super-pathogen showed that this high level of antimicrobial resistance in domesticated animals in Australia has not yet been determined, although the birds of a New South Wales seagull colony also appear to be infected with the bacterial strain, says Dr. Abraham.
Was the resistance of the seagulls built up by the action of heavy metals?
We're not sure how these birds got infected, the authors say. However, it cannot be ruled out that such resistant bacteria also occur in the natural environment. For example, there is a possibility that the resistance of the bacteria was built up through the action of heavy metals. This could also explain the increase in their resistance to common antimicrobial drugs, the researchers suspect.
Researchers find plasmids in the Salmonella organism
"We were able to identify a complete genetic element within the Salmonella organism," the scientists report. This is known as a plasmid and carries antibiotic resistance genes. Such plasmids can easily be transferred to other bacteria, the experts explain. (as)