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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria risk for pet owners



Research from Portugal has revealed that cats and dogs can transmit antibiotic-resistant bacteria to their owners, highlighting a significant public health concern. 


Antibiotic resistance poses a growing threat, with drug-resistant infections projected to cause millions of deaths annually by 2050. Understanding how these bacteria are transmitted in is crucial for developing effective public health strategies.


The new study, from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, at EARA member the University of Lisbon, involved collecting and analysing faecal samples from dogs, cats, and their owners, to search for  bacteria resistant to cephalosporins – these are important antibiotics used to treat a variety of respiratory infections and sepsis. 


Researchers found that multidrug-resistant bacteria were shared between pets and owners, due to their close environmental and physical interactions. 


This research calls for improved hygiene practices among pet owners and broader public health strategies that incorporate pet health.


The study, presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Copenhagen, has not yet been peer-reviewed.

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