Hi. This is Dr. William Jarvis, Medscape Infectious Disease Expert Advisor and President of Jason and Jarvis Associates. Today, I would like to tell you about a study by Gandolfi-Decristophoris and colleagues published in American Journal of Infection Control. This was an evaluation of pet contact as a risk factor for carriage of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in nursing home residents. Pets often are used for companionship and psychological support and therapy of nursing home patients.
In this study, carriage of multidrug-resistant S aureus was evaluated in pets and in 2 groups of nursing home residents, those living in nursing homes with pets and those living in nursing homes without pets. This study was conducted in 4 cantons of Switzerland: Bern, Ticino, Vaud, and Zurich. Samples were collected between March 2008 and September 2009.
Nasal and ear swabs were obtained from the pets and nasal swabs from the nursing home residents. Multidrug-resistant S aureus was detected in 84 of 229 (37%) nursing home residents living with pets and in 99 of 216 (46%) nursing home residents who did not live with pets. Multidrug-resistant S aureus was more common in nursing homes without pets than in those with pets.
Active pet contact was associated with lower nasal carriage of multidrug-resistant S aureus. Not surprisingly, antibiotics received within the previous 3 months were associated with significantly increased risk for multidrug-resistant S aureus carriage. This study found no evidence that previously reported benefits of pet contact are compromised by an increased risk for multidrug-resistant S aureus in nursing home residents who have pet contact. This study gives us the evidence that pets can be used in nursing home residents for both psychological support and companionship.
Medscape Infectious Diseases © 2012
Cite this: Pet Contact in Nursing Homes: Infection Risk for Residents? - Medscape - Jun 18, 2012.