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MRSA in pigs and farm workers on conventional and antibiotic-free swine farms in the USA

These results confirm the presence of LA-MRSA in pigs and swine farm workers in the USA, but the prevalence found is relatively low compared with European studies.

Wednesday 3 July 2013 (5 years 5 months 8 days ago)
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Much uncertainty remains about the origin and public health implications of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA). This study aimed to investigate the occurrence and prevalence of MRSA in general and LA-MRSA in particular in pigs and farm workers in five states.

We collected nasal swabs from pigs and farm workers at 45 swine herds (21 antibiotic-free herds; 24 conventional herds) in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio.

MRSA was isolated from 50 of 1085 pigs (4.6%) and 31 of 148 (20.9%) of farm workers. MRSA-positive pigs and people were clustered in four conventional swine farms in Iowa and Illinois. Based on genotyping, spa type t034, a common livestock associated variant, was predominant among both human and swine isolates.

These results confirm the presence of LA-MRSA in pigs and swine farm workers in the USA, but the prevalence found is relatively low compared with European studies.

Smith TC, Gebreyes WA, Abley MJ, Harper AL, Forshey BM, et al. (2013) Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Pigs and Farm Workers on Conventional and Antibiotic-Free Swine Farms in the USA. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63704. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063704

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