Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage could be a risk for development of clinical infections in rabbits

Laura Selva Martínez, David Viana, Juan Manuel Corpa Arenas

Abstract

Although nasal carriage has been described as a risk factor for Staphylococcus aureus infections in humans, there is a scarcity of studies about S. aureus nasal carriers in animals. In rabbits, S. aureus is one of the most important pathogens responsible for a number of different types of infections. This study was designed to determine the extent of staphylococcal nasal carriage and to establish whether a relationship exists between nasal carriage and development of lesions. One hundred and sixteen rabbits with and without chronic signs of staphylococcosis from 6 industrial rabbitries were monitored. Nasal swabs for microbiological assessments were obtained from all animals. Microbiological results showed that 56% of the animals carried S. aureus in their nasal cavities with significantly higher incidence in animals with staphylococcal-related lesions (84.2%) compared to apparently healthy animals (28.8%). Additionally, the S. aureus strains isolated from the nasal cavity and lesions were clonally related in 91.7% of animals. This suggests that nasal carriage of S. aureus in rabbits could be a risk for development of clinical infections.


Keywords

Staphylococcus aureus; rabbit; nasal carriage; lesions

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References

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