Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in veterinarians: an international view

Abstract number: 1733_1086

Wulf M., Sorum M., van Nes A., Skov R., Melchers W., Klaassen C., Voss A.

Objective: In the Netherlands, veterinarians in contact with pigs and pig farmers were found to have a higher risk of methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) carriage than the general population. Identical strains were found in pig farmers, pig veterinarians and pigs. The objective of this study was to investigate if contact with pigs is a risk factor for MRSA carriage in an international setting.

Design: 272 attendants of an international conference on pig health were screened for MRSA carriage by nasal and throat swabs. A questionnaire was included about the type of animal contacts and possible exposure to known MRSA risk factors and the protective measures taken while entering stables.

Results: Thirty-four participants from nine countries carried MRSA (12.5%). Thirty-one of these strains were non-typable by PFGE using SmaI. With the exception of five isolates with spa-type 899, the non-typable strains belonged to closely related spa-types (t011, t034, t108, t571, t567) which correspond to MLST 398. All of the above mentioned spa-types have also been found either in Dutch pigs, pig farmers and/or veterinarians. Protective measures such as masks, gowns and gloves did not protect against acquiring MRSA.

Conclusions: Transmission of MRSA from pigs to care-takers appears to be an international problem, creating a new reservoir for community acquired MRSA in humans in Europe, and possibly worldwide. The rise of a new zoonotic source of MRSA can have a severe impact on the epidemiology of community acquired MRSA and may have consequences for the control of MRSA, especially in the current low prevalence countries using search and destroy policies.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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