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Background and objectives: The influx rate of multi-drug resistant (MDR) pathogens including methicillin resistant Stapyhlococcus aureus (MRSA), Acinetobacter baumannii and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase(ESBL)-producing Enterobactericeae via colonized equine patients in clinical settings is worth knowing, since colonized patients provide a continuing source of MDR pathogens for themselves, other patients and not least the personnel and the environment.
Materials and methods: A total of 341 equine patients were screened for MDR pathogen-carriage. Horses suffering from either colic (n=233) or open wounds (n=108) were selected for microbiological examination of nostril swabs and fecal samples directly at hospital admission.
Results: Altogether 9.6% (31/323) of the valid fecal specimens were positive for ESBL-producing Entrobacteriaceae (94% E. coli), while MRSA (0.6%) and A. baumannii (0.9%) were rarely detected. Results from the nostril swabs of both equine patient groups revealed an overall carriage rate of 3.5% for MRSA (12/340), ranging from 1.9% (wounds: 2/108) to 4.3% (colic: 10/232). Likewise, the ESBLproducing Enterobactericeae rate was 3.4% among colic patients and 1% in the “wounds” group, with an average rate of 2.6% (9/340) for both indications.
Conclusion: These results demonstrated a massive entry of MDR pathogens in equine clinics via colonized equine patients, implying a constant challenge to any hygiene management system.