My wife has a lousy immune system. She’s a good indicator of whatever infectious diseases are circulating in the region. After running through a stretch where our whole family was biohazardous (baby with a cold, older two with two different bugs that they then spread to each other), Heather developed strep throat. This common bacterial disease is caused by Group A Streptococcus. I’ve previously posted about issues regarding strep throat and pets, and the fact that there is little evidence supporting pets as sources of strep throat in households. However, I still get asked about this, and I still see recommendations on the internet to test or even treat pets to try to contain strep throat in a household (for example, see these posts on medhelp.org and justanswer.com).
As a veterinary infectious disease specialist who runs a microbiology research lab (and someone who likes to play around and look for strange things), I’m in a perfect position to start culturing my pets to look for a link, but I don’t bother. We’ve not found any convincing evidence, and neither have other groups, that pets are a source of strep throat for humans. There are a number of zoonotic disease concerns involving household pets, many of which dont’ receive adequate attention, but this isn’t one of them. More information about "Pets and Strep Throat" can be found in the previous Worms & Germs post of the same name.