Wednesday, 26 August 2009

MRSA in pigs risk to hospitals

"Our results indicate that livestock represents a relevant reservoir for the import of MRSA into regional German hospitals."

That seems to settle that.

MRSA in pigs and other livestock is a risk to our hospitals.

Britain now has to admit that British pigs do have MRSA and that they have been holding back the bad news.

The NHS has to introduce proper targeted screening and vets have to be banned from prescribing antibiotics, as the Dutch are suggesting.

Then there will be time for a full public enquiry with evidence to be given under oath of exactly has been going on in Defra, Britain's agriculture ministry, for the past ten years and to establish the true origins of the PMWS-MRSA1999, CSF2000 and FMD2000 epidemics.

New Zealand and Australia need to start investigating their situation

In Canada and the USA, things are easier. You already know your pigs have MRSA and this is carried in pork. You now have to protect your hospitals by following the sucessful Dutch screening techniques.

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]Related Articles, Links Prevalence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among pigs on German farms and import oflivestock-related MRSA into hospitals.
Köck R, Harlizius J, Bressan N, Laerberg R, Wieler LH, Witte W,Deurenberg RH, Voss A, Becker K, Friedrich AW.
Institute of Hygiene, University Hospital Münster, Robert-Koch-Str.41, 48149, Münster, Germany.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)among pigs and estimate the impact of this animal reservoir on human healthcare.

Nasal swabs were derived from 1,600 pigs at 40 German farms. The MRSA were characterized using S. aureus protein A (spa)typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and detection of toxin genes.

In a retrospective case control study, we compared risk factors for the carriage of MRSA between patients carrying spa types found among regional pigs and patients with other MRSA molecular types. Pigs carrying MRSA were identified on 70% of the farms (spa types t011,t034, t108, t1451 and t2510, all associated with MLST sequence type ST398). Contact to pigs and cattle were independent risk factors for the carriage of these spa types in patients at hospital admission.

Our results indicate that livestock represents a relevant reservoir for the import of MRSA into regional German hospitals.

PMID: 19701815 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Superbugs - more than 30,000 British die in five years

It's real, it's happening and it does not seem to be so bad on the Continent of Europe

What on earth is Britain doing wrong?

This is no time for a discredited Agriculture Mininstry - Defra to hold back information on MRSA tests on British pigs.

Death toll from hospital bugs hits new high

More than 30,000 people have died after contracting the hospital infections MRSA and Clostridium difficile in just five years, officialfigures will show this week. By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent Published: 9:00PM BST 15 Aug 2009

Data from the Office for National Statistics covering 2004 to 2008 is expected to show record numbers of deaths linked to the superbugs in England and Wales.

Opposition politicians said the Government had allowed "a horrifying death toll" because of its "slow and sloppy" response to spiralling levels of infection in NHS hospitals.

Official data shows a doubling in the death toll linked to MRSA during the period 2004 to 2007, compared with the previous four years, and a quadrupling in deaths linked to C. diff, when two sets of three-year figures are compared.

Between 2004 and 2007 there were more than 20,000 deaths linked to C.diff and more than 6,000 associated with MRSA.... more

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Dutch Ag Min wants Vet drug sales ban

More information on the prospect of a vet antibiotics ban.

If the level of drug sales income is similar in the UK, it is indeed a
matter of concern. We know that the levels of prescription for pigs in
the UK is massive and has been for years, despite Defra's deliberate
fudging of the figures.

You can see the start of the blame game between vets and farmers in
the last sentence.

The vets know they are now in serious trouble and are very anxious to
shift blame to the farmers. You can sense the same thing happening in
the UK.

The writer is with the farmers. The present antibiotic crisis could never have
happened without the full collusion, instigation and approval of the

They had the education and the qualifications, they made the
prescriptions and the big money. No British farmer dared go against
the advice of his vet. The RSPCA saw to that. Ignoring or not seeking
the advice of a vet apparently equals animal cruelty in the UK.

The government vets regarded the faking of tests and documents as
appropriate conduct and the intimidation of witnesses to Parliament as
part of their brief. Pig farmers told me that they dared not stand up
to Maff-Defra's criminalised veterinary service.

The farmers are left with the problems and handling a British public
that will go nuts when they find out just what has been going on. The
public trusted their vets, but will not allow their reckless practices
to endanger the health of their children.

No amount of "All Creatures Great and Small" is going to help.

As usual the Dutch are to be commended for their integrity in bringing
the problem to the surface and starting to tackle the root causes.

Dutch Ag Min wants Vet drug sales ban 11 Aug 2009

According to the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Science (KNMvD)
20-50% of the income of Dutch veterinarians comes from selling animal
medicines. Dutch Minster for Agriculture Gerda Verburg wants to
investigate whether the sale of animal medicines (antibiotics) by
veterinarians must be banned in the Netherlands.

Antibiotic resistance

According to Verburg, the high antibiotic use in the Dutch livestock
sector may be linked back to the fact that vets earn a lot of money by
selling the antibiotics. Verburg advocates minimising the use of
(therapeutic) antibiotics in the livestock sector because it may
result in antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans.

In-feed antibiotic ban

The ban on antibiotic growth promoters has led to a reduced use of
antibiotics on farms. Antibiotics are now only used as a therapeutic
measure and can only be subscribed by a veterinarian. On average, a
pig in the Netherlands receives 32 doses of antibiotics per year.
Denmark supplies 9 dosses per pig per year. In the Netherlands,
antibiotics are often given to a whole animal group, even when only
one animal in that group is ill.

Farmer's mentality

A ban on the sale of antibiotics by veterinarians is not the only
measure to reduce the antibiotics use in the Dutch livestock sector.
Also farmers need to change their mentality says the KNMvD.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dutch admit extent of MRSA in livestock and farmers

This is the world service of Netherlands Radio.

It is not comfortable reading.

It is interesting to see the Dutch government are investigating the
role of vets in the over prescription of antibiotics to livestock.

The Dutch are going to come out of this fiasco relatively well. They
have at least admitted that there is a problem, told the world five
years ago, and are attempting to do something about it.

What a comparison to Britain's shabby veterinary industry!

Still if they can't be bothered to maintain proper ethical standards
they must not expect any sympathy from the rest of us.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)is concerned about the overuse of antibiotics on cattle farms. The medication ultimately causes the hospital superbug MRSA to become resistant.

The RIVM says that some human diseases may become untreatable if the bacteria continue to develop a resistance to antibiotics.

No alternatives

RIVM infection specialist Dr Roel Coutinho told NOS television,
"It's known for a fact that all bacteria ultimately become resistant.
At that point, new antibiotics need to be used, but currently there
are no new antibiotics in the pipeline. Therefore we have to restrain
the use of the current antibiotic medication as much as we can. That's
why Dutch doctors and hospitals follow guidelines on limiting the
application of antibiotics, and that approach works. Compared to other countries, antibiotics prescriptions in the Dutch health care system are relatively modest."

The problem is that the guidelines do not apply to animal breeders on
cattle, pig and chicken farms.

"On cattle farms, the quantity of antibiotics administered to the
animals is ten times that of the human use countrywide. I'm not
convinced that that is really necessary, and I think we should do the
utmost to reduce the use," Dr Coutinho added.
Some 80 percent of cattle breeding farms and half the Dutch chicken
farms have been infected with a strain of MRSA, the institute says. In
2008, there were over 1100 reports of infection, 400 more than in


Chairman Wyno Zwanenburg of the Dutch Pig Breeders' Union explained to NOS that pig farmers have made considerable advances in reducing the use of antibiotics. He pointed out that pigs are living in groups, necessitating group treatment, even if only a single animal has been infected.

One third of all cattle farmers are infected with MRSA, but the
bacteria is only dangerous for people who are susceptible because of
other illnesses or general ill health.

In an attempt to curb the use of antibiotics on farms, Agriculture
Minister Tineke Verburg has ordered an investigation into the role of
veterinary doctors. Vets generally act as their own dispensing
chemists, selling the antibiotics to farmers. The vets' umbrella
organisation agrees that the use of antibiotics in cattle farms should
be brought down, but adds that there are usually medical arguments in favour of their use.