STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS (MRSA), HUMAN, ZOO ELEPHANT - USA: (CALIFORNIA) 2008**************************************************************************A ProMED-mail post<>ProMED-mail is a program of theInternational Society for Infectious Diseases<http://www.isid.orgDate: Fri 6 Mar 2009Source: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report 2009; 58(08):194-198 [edited]<>Methicillin-resistant _Staphylococcus aureus_ (MRSA) infections are amajor cause of human skin and soft tissue infections in the UnitedStates (1). MRSA colonization and infection also have been observed inturtles, bats, seals, sheep, rabbits, rodents, cats, dogs, pigs,birds, horses, and cattle (2--8), and MRSA infections with anepidemiologic link to animal contact have been reported in veterinarypersonnel, pet owners, and farm animal workers (5,7,8).On 29 Jan 2008, the County of San Diego Health and Human ServicesAgency was notified of skin pustules on an African elephant(_Loxodonta africana_) calf and 3 of its caretakers at a zoo in SanDiego County. After each of these infections (including the calfsinfection) was laboratory confirmed as MRSA, an outbreak investigationand response was initiated by the zoo and the agency. This reportsummarizes the results of that investigation, which identified 2additional confirmed MRSA infections, 15 suspected MRSA infections,and 3 MRSA-colonized persons (all among calf caretakers), andconcluded that infection of the elephant calf likely came from acolonized caretaker.This is the 1st reported case of MRSA in an elephant and of suspectedMRSA transmission from an animal to human caretakers at a zoo.[Voluminous further details, and the 10 refs., may be found at thesource URL. - Mod.JW]Note: Caretakers blew air with their unmasked mouths into the calfstrunk to stimulate bottle feeding (its mother had died).