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Livestock-associated MRSA: epidemiology in animal production chains, transmission to humans and charateristics of the clone

By J. A. Wagenaar, A. van de Giessen

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Abstract

MRSA infections in people working with pigs was confirmed in 2005. Dutch data from 9 abattoirs showed that 39% of pigs and 81% of slaughter batches was contaminated with MRSA. All strains belonged to the sequence type ST398. This clone is now known as livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA). A research project in the Netherlands investigated during 2007-08 the spread of MRSA on 202 pig farms. MRSA was found on 68.3% of farms. One of the main risk factors was farm size. MRSA in farm workers varied between 2% in people not handling pigs directly to 29% in people handling pigs. Farms with MRSA-positive suppliers were also MRSA-psoitive in 79% of cases compared to 23% in farms with MRSA-negative suppliers. Pigs can get contaminated with MRSA within hours after staying in contaminated areas. A study of veal calf farms reported 27.5% of infected calves and 88% of infected farms. Significant positive relationships were found between MRSA-infection and calf age, number of calves per box, presence of other livestock, and use of antibiotics. MRSA infection rates varied between 33% in farm workers (handling calves) to 8% in family members (not handling calves). A strong relationship was also found between MRSA infection and number of working hours/week. A survey of 40 lots of broilers identified 35% of animals as MRSA-infected, including 6.9% of throat infections. MRSA prevalence of farm workers was 5.6% and risks were higher in farm workers handling live broilers. MRSA was detected in 11.9% of meat products but levels were below 10 units/g meat. Most MRSA isolates were resistant to tetracycline. ST398 has 3 phylogenetic lines. The human health risks of ST398 infection are small.

Date 2009
Publication Title Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde
Volume 134
Issue 24
Pages 1032-1035
ISBN/ISSN 0040-7453
Language Dutch
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Tags
  1. Animal slaughter
  2. Antibiotics
  3. Bacteria
  4. Birds
  5. Calves
  6. Cattle
  7. Chickens
  8. Contamination
  9. Developed countries
  10. Epidemiology
  11. Europe
  12. Farms
  13. Fowls
  14. Health
  15. Livestock farming
  16. Mammals
  17. Meat.
  18. Meat animals
  19. Meat production
  20. MRSA
  21. Netherlands
  22. occupational safety
  23. OECD countries
  24. pathogens
  25. peer-reviewed
  26. pig farming
  27. Poultry
  28. poultry farming
  29. Primates
  30. prokaryotes
  31. risk
  32. Risk Assessment
  33. slaughter
  34. surveys
  35. Swine
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  1. peer-reviewed