Pets may contain bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, research reveals.

According to a study cited by the Guardian, multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) may be present in healthy cats and dogs, or humans may be transferring them to their pets.

MDROs are bacteria that are resistant to many types of antibiotic therapy. With time, the bacteria mutate and become increasingly resistant to the antibiotic being used to kill them.


An estimated 5 million fatalities worldwide in 2019 were associated with such evolved bacteria, and 1.3 million of those deaths were attributed to drug-resistant bacteria.

The danger of cross-infection is low, according to research that has not yet been presented at this weekend’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Copenhagen.

The study was conducted by Dr. Carolin Hackmann at Charité University Hospital Berlin on more than 2,800 hospitalised patients and the dogs they brought with them.

In many parts of the world, pets carrying a variety of these germs and microbes have become a severe worry. Researchers gathered samples of hospitalised patients and the house dogs they kept as companions in order to perform a study on this topic.

Researchers in this study used the genetic sequencing approach to pinpoint the genes that lead to treatment resistance, and it was found that 30% of the patients had these germs. The optimism percentage among cat owners was 9%, whereas the rate among dog owners was higher at 11%.

In four of the cases, the same species of organisms were discovered in both pets and owners who had the same levels of antibiotic resistance when the owners were asked to give samples.

In discussing how it spreads, Hackmann was cited as saying: “Carriers can shed bacteria into their environment for months and they can be a source of infection for other more vulnerable people in hospital, such as those with a weak immune system and the very young or old. However, the level of sharing between hospital patients and their pets in our study is very low.”


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