In the present report we evaluated the decontamination measures taken on a farm contaminated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterobacteriaceae expressing extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL-E). The decontamination process preceded the conversion from piglet breeding to gilt production. Microbiological surveillance showed that the decontamination measures eliminated the MRSA and ESBL-E strains that were detected on the farm before the complete removal of pigs, cleaning and disinfection of the stable, and the construction of an additional stable meeting high quality standards. After restarting pig production, ESBL-E remained undetectable over twelve months, but MRSA was recovered from pigs and the environment within the first two days. However, spa (Staphylococcus aureus protein A) typing revealed acquisition of a MRSA strain (type t034) that had not been detected before decontamination. Interestingly, we observed that a farm worker who had been colonized with the prior MRSA strain (t2011) acquired the new strain (t034) after two months.
In summary, this report demonstrates that decontamination protocols similar to those used here can lead to successful elimination of contaminating MRSA and ESBL-E in pigs and the stable environment. Nevertheless, decontamination protocols do not prevent the acquisition of new MRSA strains.
Ricarda Maria Schmithausen, et al. Eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterobacteriaceae expressing extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL-E) on a model pig farm. Applied and Environmental Microbiolgy. Accepted manuscript posted online 4 September 2015, doi: 10.1128/AEM.01713-15