Antibiotic Resistance: where are our pets in all this?

Unconditional love. Companionship. Decreased levels of stress and anxiety. Someone to have an intelligent conversation with, more so than with most people you meet. These are the advantages of owning a dog or a cat. And long may it continue, we say.

Animal lovers we may be, but this is also a blog devoted to the arts and sciences of countering microbial antibiotic resistance. And so we have to warn you of a tiny cloud, no bigger than a man’s hand, that may one day intrude upon this Eden.  As it comes from Robin McKie[1] of the Guardian, we take it seriously indeed. Researchers at the famous Charité Hospital in Berlin have found that dogs and cats may be acting as a reservoir of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Implication: they could be giving it to us, and we could be giving it to them. The full statistics are in Robin’s article. For us the key takeaway at this state is that only 30% of sampled humans carried the resistant organisms, Of these only 9% had cats and of these cats, only 5% carried the organisms.  At 0.00135% that’s pretty low. The figures for our canine chums come out a tiny bit higher, but not enough to alarm.

And our thoughts, as both ailurophiles and doughty warriors in the war against microbial resistance? Let’s keep our powder dry, and plough on. The real benefits of solving this whole problem will be shared by ourselves and our furry friends  Keep pushing for more research. Keep pushing to avoids misuse of our precious antibiotics. And try to persuade your leaders to do the same.

#cats #dogs #pets #antimicrobial resistance #superbugs #antibiotics #medicine #health #veterinary science #hospital

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