dog and cat assay data sheet
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) PCR testing
Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Staphylococcus aureus
bacteria by real time PCR. This test alone does not differentiate
methicillin-resistant from non-methicillin-resistant strains of
B0069 - Ultrasensitive qualitative
differentiation of methicillin-resistant bacteria by real time PCR.
This test differentiates methicillin-resistant from
non-methicillin-resistant strains of bacteria by detecting the
presence of the resistance-conferring mec A gene. This assay, when
combination with assay B0095 (above), detects and
differentiates MRSA (methicillin resistant Staph aureus) from
non-methicillin resistant strains of Staph aureus, and also
differentiates MRSA from non-Staph bacteria carrying the mecA gen
IMPORTANT: Studies have shown that resistance to the
antibiotic methicillin in Staph aureus
bacteria is almost always due to the presence of the mec A gene.
However, this gene has also been reported in some
also in some non-Staph
bacteria. PCR detection of the mec A gene
(eg using assay B0069) is a rapid way of confirming
methicillin resistance and thus can help guide treatment regimens.
Additional testing (eg using assay B0095) is necessary if
from other bacterial species is necessary in addition to
the detection of methicillin resistance.
In recent years Staphylococcus aureus, a common inhabitant of human
skin, has become a serious public health concern because some strains
of this bacterium have acquired methicillin resistance. Methicillin
resistant Staph aureus, often
referred to as a “superbug,” is resistant to the entire
beta-lactam class of
antibiotics, which includes penicillin, amoxicillin,
oxacillin, methicillin and other penicillin-like drugs, and which are
widely used to treat bacterial infections.
About one-third of the world’s population carries non-methicillin-resistant
Staph aureus bacteria,
primarily in the nose and on the skin. The bacteria are often present
without causing active infection. Of people carrying
Staph aureus, about 1 percent
have MRSA strains, according to the United States Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pets are a potential reservoir of MRSA infection and can spread MRSA-related
dermatitis to humans.
Recent studies have shown that
transmission of MRSA infections between pets and humans is increasing,
most commonly in the form of skin infections. Additionally,
systemic human MRSA infections can occur through dog or cat bites or scratches.
Because these bacteria are so resistant to antibiotic treatment,
these infections can be very serious, particularly in people with compromised immune systems.
Detection of MRSA by culture is time-consuming.
However, detection of MRSA using the combined PCR assays described
is rapid, sensitive and specific (French, 2009).
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of infection
Help ensure that animal facilities are free of MRSA
Early prevention of spread of MRSA
among a facility
Minimize human exposure to MRSA
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
from susceptible animals
Health and Life Insurance Trust (2009) Education is key to combating
rise in MRSA. Veterinary
clinics, pet owners can help prevent transmission among species. J.
Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 234: 187, 190.
French, G.L. (2009) Methods for screening for methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus carriage. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. S7:10-6.
Gortel K, Campbell KL, Kakoma I, Whittem T, Schaeffer DJ, Weisiger RM.
Methicillin resistance among staphylococci isolated from dogs. Am J
Vet Res. 1999;60:1526–1530.
Pak SI, Han HR, Shimizu A.
Characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
isolated from dogs in Korea. J Vet Med Sci. 1999;61:1013–1018.
Tomlin J, Pead MJ, Lloyd DH, Howell S, Hartmann F, Jackson HA,
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in 11 dogs. Vet
Nasal swab, or oral swab, or
environmental swab, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue.
For specimen types
other than those listed here, please call to confirm specimen
acceptability and shipping instructions.
all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a
cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified.
Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit.
See shipping instructions for more
2 business days
Qualitative real time