Thursday, 23 December 2010

Spain: MRSA st398 in pigs and people

This report confirms the dangers of MRSA st398 to pig farmers and workers. It also underlines the risks to the immunocompromised when it gets into the hospitals.

Governments must take immediate action to get reliable test results for the pigs and get the veterinarians with their wild prescribing habits under tight external supervision.

That includes Britain, where the pigs have been known to be ill for the past decade, but where the usage of antibiotics in pigs and the incidence of MRSA st398 still seems to be a state secret.

Full report here

Volume 17, Number 1–January 2011


Empyema caused by MRSA ST398 with Atypical Resistance Profile, Spain

Carmen Lozano, Carmen Aspiroz, Ana Isabel Ezpeleta, Elena Gómez-Sanz, Myriam Zarazaga, and Carmen Torres

To the Editor: We report a case of empyema caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) sequence type ST398 in a 79-year-old man in Spain who had severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In 2009, the patient was hospitalized in the intensive care unit because of decompensation of his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, profound iliofemoral venous thrombosis, right pneumothorax, and lung carcinoma. Thoracic drainage, support measures, and intravenous levofloxacin were initiated, but no clinical improvement was seen. Purulent exudates from the thoracic drainage tube and of a tracheal aspirate were cultured. MRSA was isolated from both samples and from a nasal swab. Antimicrobial drug therapy was changed from levofloxacin to intravenous linezolid, but the patient's clinical situation rapidly worsened, and he died of multiorgan failure...

...The patient lived with his wife and 2 sons near a pig farm. Both sons worked on the farm; the patient, but not his wife, helped sporadically on the farm. Nasal samples from the 3 family members indicated MRSA carriage in 1 son but not in the other son or the patient's wife. The characteristics of the nasal MRSA strain recovered from the son were identical to those previously detected in MRSA strains from the patient (Table). In addition, nasal swabs from 18 pigs on the farm were randomly taken, and MRSA isolates were detected in 9 (50%) pigs; 1 MRSA isolate per animal was further characterized. Eight isolates were typed as ST398/t011/SCCmecV/agrI, and the remaining one as ST398/t1451/SCCmecV/agrI. All animal isolates had the same resistance phenotype and genotype as the MRSA isolates from the patient and son. None harbored the studied virulence factors (Table). All isolates had an unusual clindamycin-resistance/erythromycin-susceptibility phenotype and harbored the vga(A) gene...

...Other studies have suggested clonal spread and transmission of MRSA ST398 between pigs and persons who work with them (4,5). This microorganism has been generally associated with skin and soft tissue infections in humans (6). Nevertheless, severe infections by ST398 also have been sporadically described, and the report of 7 pneumonia cases associated with mechanical ventilation in central Europe is relevant (7). In general, ST398 isolates have fewer virulence factors than do other clones of MRSA (2); nonetheless, human infections from Panton-Valentine leukocidin–positive ST398 isolates have been reported (8). The immunocompromised status of patients in intensive care units could favor dissemination of ST398 in this environment....

...In conclusion, we report potential pig-to-human transmission of MRSA ST398. MRSA ST398 can be associated with severe respiratory pathology in immunocompromised patients, and these microorganisms could also be resistant to other first-line antimicrobial agents, such as fluoroquinolones, used to treat these infections. Moreover, the unusual clindamycin-resistance/erythromycin-susceptibility phenotype might be a key marker (in addition to tetracycline resistance) for the possible presence of livestock-associated MRSA...

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Norwegian vets want MRSA st398 made notifiable

This is the Norwegian Veterinary Institute - mechanical translation.

They are clearly not going to repeat the mistake the British State Veterinary Service made with circovirus in 1999, when they hid up a PMWS epidemic instead of making it notifiable.

Wise - the Norwegians too might have to carry on the deceit for more than a decade. (when first you set out to deceive!)

They are watching the next-door Danes no doubt, with increasing alarm too.

The Norwegians are not complacent about MRSA st398 and are aware that people (vets?) coming in from abroad could spread this to their pigs.

Report here

Stepping up surveillance of MRSA

Posted: 12/22/2010 10:42 Last modified: 22/12/2010 10:42

Veterinærinstituttet National Veterinary Institute
In many European countries have shown a high incidence of a type of multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA ST398, in livestock.

The incidence is particularly high in pigs. The bacteria has not been detected in Norwegian pigs, but now the surveillance be stepped up.

The animal adapted variant, MRSA ST398 has been detected in several European countries and especially in pigs. The incidence seems to be particularly high in pigs in Spain, Germany and Belgium. The bacterium has also been found in pigs in Finland, Denmark and Sweden. In Norway we have not found the bacteria in animals.

ST398 MRSA can be spread from animals to humans and represents a new zoonosis, ie a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals.

Pig infection reservoir

Pet variant of MRSA is usually not a health problem for the animals and the risk of infection via food is considered very small. ? - Pigs can be carriers and spread the bacteria to other animals, swine producers, veterinarians and others who are in close contact with animals, "said Marianne Sunde, a researcher at the National Veterinary Institute. - In countries where MRSA ST398 is widespread in pigs, special precautions are taken when people who have close contact with pigs must be posted at health institutions. This is to avoid spreading the infection to the health institutions where it can result in serious infections.

New surveillance study of Norwegian pigs.

With the prevalence of MRSA ST398 has received in swine herds in many other countries, and the consequences it has had to spill over to humans, it is important to monitor the situation regularly in Norwegian pigs, "says Bjørn Lium, species responsible for swine at the National Veterinary Institute.
FSA will in 2011, in cooperation with the National Veterinary Institute, implement a new surveillance study of Norwegian pig herds. If MRSA ST398 first establishes itself in a swine population it is very difficult and perhaps impossible to get rid of. ? - Restrictive use of antibiotics and organized livestock trade are important measures to keep the Norwegian swine population is free of MRSA ST398 in the future, "said Lium. - It is also important to be aware that bacteria can be spread to pigs via the Norwegian people who have been in contact with domestic animals in countries where MRSA ST398 occur,"he adds.

Should be notifiable.

While the discovery of MRSA in humans is notifiable in Norway, there is no notification if it is found MRSA in animals. To maintain the good situation, it is important to have a good overview of the deposit. National Veterinary Institute, believes that MRSA should be notifiable even on animals.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Antibiotic resistances in the food chain

This is the risk assessment unit of the Federal German agricultural ministry reporting.

The days of Britain's veterinary industry earning a fortune by over prescribing antibiotics and, with government veterinary collusion, covering up the resulting animal and human health disasters are numbered.

Britain's veterinarians are going to have to explain their conduct over the past decade on an international stage.

That's if they escape the wrath of the people of Britain, who might well yet get there first.

"You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time."

German report here

18/2010, 13.12.2010

Antibiotic resistances in the food chain

BfR publishes two reports on the resistance situation for different groups of bacteria

The National Reference Laboratories for Salmonella and Antibiotic Resistance at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) tested Salmonella isolates from diagnostic submissions for antibiotics resistance and assessed them according to epidemiological criteria between 2000 and 2008.

The isolates originated mainly from animals and foods but also from feeds and the environment.

Of the 33,625 isolates, 48% were resistant to at least one and 35% even resistant to more than one class of antibiotics.

For the isolates from livestock and foods the resistance is significantly higher.

A second, representative study carried out in 2009 confirms the results for Salmonella and reaches similar results also for Escherichia coli and Campylobacter.

"Resistances to pathogens in animals and foods are a serious problem in consumer health protection," said BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. Infections with resistant pathogens can prolong or aggravate the course of diseases in humans. They can require hospital treatment and may even become life threatening in certain cases...

Report continues here

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Dutch to reduce antibiotics in livestock

News reached Britain, and was published  this morning, via the United States, that the Dutch are reducing antibiotic use in livestock.

Vion is, of course, an important supplier to the British market.

This is obviously a significant development with repercussions across the world - not least in the sleazy information backwater that is British veterinary practice and science

The Dutch, with the Danes and others, have recognised the problem and are doing something about it. The British don't even know how much antibiotics are used in British pigs.

It's a big government (Defra) secret. They are too frightened to tell us. They are right. There will have to be explanations for their extraordinary conduct over the past decade.

report here

Antibiotic Use in Dutch Meat Industry to be Halved by 2013

December 1, 2010 -

The Dutch industry intends to put new measures in place that will help it meet a target of cutting antibiotic use in meat production by a half, according to a report by VION, the Dutch meat giant.

A report from the Livestock Antibiotic Resistance Steering Group was presented to State Secretary Henk Bleker of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation last week that describes how to reduce antibiotic use by 20 percent from 2009 to 2011. By 2013, usage would be cut by 50 percent.

In April this year the previous Minister of Agriculture, Gerda Verburg, asked the steering committee chaired by Senator Jos Werner (CDA) to submit proposals on addressing the issue of antibiotic resistance in humans as a result of the widespread use of antibiotics in meat production.

The Livestock Antibiotic Resistance Task Force was set up in 2008. All parties involved in livestock production were present. The four major animal industries (pigs, cattle, veal calves and poultry) reached a voluntary agreement in which a large number of measures were identified to resolve the issue of antibiotic resistance.

The latest report presents additional measures to ensure the transparency of antibiotic use including a role for the FoundatioVeterinary Authority (SDA), which should help monitor responsible and safe use of antibiotics. Veterinarians and farmers would be required to register antibiotics that they use with a central database.

By John Strak on 11/30/2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Danes export sick breeding pigs to Russia

The Russian government claims that Denmark has recklessly sent them infected breeding pigs accompanied with health certificates issued by Danish government veterinarians.

They claim this case "demonstrated the systemic lack of competence of veterinary services of the EU countries."

The Russians are on the ball:  corrupt and/or useless government veterinarians recklessly issuing health certificates on sick live pigs in international trade is the reason many diseases circle the world.

This goes way beyond Denmark and Russia.

Some of the diseases carried are dangerous to human health.

This is how the British epidemics of  Classical Swine Fever  and Foot and Mouth 2000/1 came from live legal imports of infected breeding pigs accompanied by "clean" health certificates.

MAFF (the British Agricultural Ministry) lied their heads off to cover the incompetence of their vets in failing to spot that the pigs were not healthy.

This is where the writer first became involved in animal health (and now where the vets start leaving in disgrace.)

It's ironic that it is the Danes are the ones that got caught, but "bad money drives out good."

You can see why the Danes' own Minister of Agriculture blew the whistle on his own defiant veterinarians , and published the names of farms with sick pigs and massive antibiotic usage. See latest report.

Over the last decade Britain has lacked any Minister prepared to take a powerful wealthy veterinary industry to task.

But  that is what you get in the world's first, only and definitely last vetocracy.

Report from Moscow

Problems Associated with Import of Live Pigs from Denmark

In 2010 the Rosselkhoznadzor authorized import of 1360 breeding pigs from Denmark to the Belgorodskaya Oblast.

The animals were imported in three consignments accompanied with phytosanitary certificates issued by the National Veterinary Service of Denmark according to which the animals were clinically healthy.

320 animals with lesions on legs and limp were detected in the course of the daily clinical examination in the quarantine period.

The experts made a conclusion that the lesions on their legs were of infectious nature and the veterinary specialists of Denmark agreed with them. Some animals died.

Microorganisms of genus Mycoplasma and Chlamydiaceae were detected in the pathological material; the dysentery agent T. hyodysenteria was isolated in the course of microscopic examination.

The Chief Veterinary Veterinarian for the Belgorodskaya Oblast ordered that the quarantine period should be prolonged. The clinical examinations of animals under quarantine showed the disease progression that indicates that the animals with latent infections had been imported into the quarantine stations and it contradicts the animal health status specified in the veterinary certificates.

This case demonstrated the systemic lack of competence of veterinary services of the EU countries in the fulfillment of veterinary requirements for export of products subject to surveillance into the territory of Russia.

Taking into account the major violations of the animal health requirements and standards of Russia made by the veterinary service of Denmark in export of breeding pigs, the Rosselkhoznadzor considered it appropriate to impose temporary restrictions on import of breeding animals from a number of Danish farms to Russia.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Circocirus and MRSA - pig to pig spread

This abstract says nothing really new for anyone using their common sense, but it needed saying.

It has been obvious for years that circovirus, and associated MRSA, travelled from pig to pig and to new herds by live introductions.

The real crime here is that Britain, and others, knowingly exported live pigs worldwide and imported live pigs from infected areas despite the obvious risks.

They also ecouraged domestic pyramid systems almost  as if to make quite sure that no herd escaped porcine circovirus.

Government then covered up what they had done by illegal methods including blatent organised intimidation of whistle-blowers and any farmer complaining.

This was veterinarians, supposed to be combating disease, causing and spreading disease through greed and recklessly signed health certificates.

Even if circovirus is completely harmless to humans, something uncertain, this impacts on the human population by the excessive antibiotic use to deal with other illnesses in circovirus weakened pig herds.

Excessive antibiotic use creates, sustains and spreads antibiotic resistant disease such as MRSA within pigs that evetually spread to humans.

Much as they would like to think otherwise, and are now anxious to suggest, it is ironic that the vets themselves and their families are most at risk.

They will be shunned: “ex-veterinarian” - the modern equivalent of the leper’s bell.

Still, who needs vets without the right to prescribe antibiotics; a right that will inevitably be curbed or removed?

The practice of veterinary medicine relies on them; without antibiotics, veterinarians are of little value to any animal or its owner.

Anim Health Res Rev. 2010 Dec;11(2):217-234.

Epidemiology and horizontal transmission of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2).

Patterson AR, Opriessnig T.

Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 1600 S. 16th Street, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a small, non-enveloped, circular, single-stranded DNA virus of economic importance in the swine industry worldwide. Based on the sequence analyses of PCV2 strains, isolates can be divided into five subtypes (PCV2a-e). PCV2 is an ubiquitous virus based on serological and viremia data from countries worldwide. In addition, PCV2 DNA was discovered in archived samples prior to the first recognition of clinical disease. Recently, a worldwide shift in PCV2 subtype from PCV2a to PCV2b occurred. PCV2 DNA can be detected in fecal, nasal, oral and tonsillar swabs as well as in urine and feces from both naturally and experimentally infected pigs. PCV2 DNA can be detected early in the infectious process and persists for extended periods of time. The effectiveness of disinfectants for reducing PCV2 in vitro is variable and PCV2 is very stable in the pig environment. Limited data exist on the horizontal transmission of PCV2. Direct transmission of PCV2 between experimentally or naturally infected animals and naïve animals has been documented and the incorporation of clinical or subclinically infected animals into a population represents a risk to the herd. Indirect transmission through the oral, aerosol or vaccine routes is likely a lesser risk for the transmission of PCV2 in most swine populations but may be worth evaluating in high heath herds. The objective of this review was to discuss data on the epidemiology and horizontal transmission of PCV2.

PMID: 21087576 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Antibiotic use in Danish pigs curbed thanks to whistle blowing Minister

The quite extraordinary story of the Danish Agriculture Minister who blew the whistle on his own uncooperative veterinarians and exposed excessive antibiotic use with names, addresses, a league table and even an interactive map identifying the farms.

The exposure may have caused fury in Denmark, but it worked.

A lot less antibiotics are being used in Danish pigs.

Embarrassment and public exposure worked to curb an over privileged dangerous drug pushing veterinary industry.

We could do with such an unconventional Minister in Britain, and elsewhere. He got things done and deserves the praise.

The industry who complained bitterly about his unorthodox exposure, now rush to associate themselves with a success story, even arranging for it to be "leaked" into the English language media.

You can read the hilarious original story here

Now we get the latest instalment - mechanical translation - link to publisher

Antibiotics curve is broken

10. November 2010

Completely new figures showing that consumption of antibiotics in swine production has fallen sharply in the third quarter. Yellow-card system works so smoothly, think pig industry.

The latest figures from Vetstat of antibiotic consumption in Danish pig shows that consumption has dropped markedly in the third quarter. From 26,820 kg active substance in the second quarter of 2010 to 23,681 kilograms in the third quarter, which means a decrease in the entire 11.7 percent.

If you compare with same period last year fell just as sharply, from 25,490 kg active substance in the third quarter of 2009 to 23,681 in 2010.

- The figures confirm a feeling that we have had for some time, namely that consumption of pig barns are falling. So we are very satisfied and it is great that farmers and veterinarians have taken the job on him and snapped antibiotics curve, says Nicolaj Nørgaard, Director of Information Centre for Pig Production, Food & Agriculture.

According to the director, the new data that food minister yellow card scheme, which focuses on the farms with the highest consumption of antibiotics, which entered into force 1 July 2010, already seems to be working.

- We have the entire process with the minister's yellow card scheme backed the scheme and on the target antibioitikaforbruget in pig production to be lowered. For me there is no doubt that we can now see that the system works as intended, says Nicolaj Nørgaard.

He stresses, however, the importance of that sick animals should be treated correctly.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

C.Diff superbug in Britain, links to pigs?

This particular 027 strain, known as NAP 1 in North America seems to be pig associated. 

Other strains may be too. The writer first suspected a connection some years ago and started pressing publicly for tests on pigs. See here for Dutch research.

It first showed up in Britain in areas where he knew the pigs were ill with Circovirus (Lowestoft) and killed 22 hospital patients.

In Quebec, where hundreds of people died, the pigs were sick with Circovirus  too.

It now seems that things are worse in Britain than elsewhere. The pigs, still sick with Circovirus, remain untested for C.Diff.

Britain has highest rates of dangerous superbug in Europe: research

Britain has the highest proportion of a dangerous 'super-strain' of the hospital bug Clostridium difficile in Europe, according to a new study.

7:30AM GMT 16 Nov 2010

There are dozens of strains of C-diff, a bug which takes hold in vulnerable hospital patients who have been treated with antibiotics and causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. It can be fatal.

Overuse of antibiotics and poor hygiene are thought to be the cause of the disease spreading.
A new Europe-wide study investigated cases of C-diff in a selection of hospitals in 29 countries, examining a particularly dangerous strain called 027.

The results, published in The Lancet medical journal, show that across Europe, the 027 strain accounted for just five per cent of all C.diff cases, making it only the sixth most common variant.

But in the British hospitals where samples were tested, the rate was at least 25 per cent of C.diff cases, one in four.

The latest data from the Health Protection Agency shows there are around 25,500 C.diff cases in England a year meaning that if the pattern were reperated across the country then thousands of patients are suffering the more dangerous strain... (more)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Swiss finger MRSA st398 as dangerous

The MRSA st398 saga continues. Britain, the world's first, only, and undoubtedly last vetocracy, remains a black hole for relevant science and information.

Just how much of a human disaster are Britain's dangerous secretive government veterinarians hiding up?

We still don't know accurately how much antibiotic is used to get sick pigs to slaughter and officialdom still denies that British pigs have MRSA st398.

We do now know officially  that Circovirus arrived in Britain in 1999 and was spreading, preceding the disastrous Classified Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth outbreaks, thus giving the lie to previous veterinary histories.

These fabrications placed the Circovirus problems as arising after the twin epidemics, wrongly trying to make the Circovirus epidemic a result of, not the contributory factor to, Foot and Mouth in 2000-2001.

We are now, at last, getting admissions that the government veterinarians did nothing about Circovirus in pigs for six years and were shocked when they found that almost all British pigs were infected or carrying.

MRSA st398 in pigs is following the same pattern - outright denial, despite not having done more than the most perfunctory testing of a few dust samples, and this by an organisation known to deliberately fake such tests and threaten anyone exposing them to Parliament.

This time matters seem even more serious.

Swiss report here

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

HAMAP: Staphylococcus aureus (strain MRSA ST398 / isolate S0385)
complete proteome

…Methicillin resistant S.aureus (MRSA) ST398 strains are becoming a
worldwide threat. Originally isolated from pigs, and widely
distributed worldwide in livestock, ST398 strains are also found in
human carriers and patients, domestic animals but also in meat
products for human consumption. Recent studies reported the more
promiscuous transmission of ST398 among humans; in China ST398 strains
are now causing hospital acquired infections…

… Indeed the very variable resistance patterns of ST398 isolates
suggests they may acquire foreign DNA quite easily under antibiotic

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Circovirus in pigs - wasted years in Britain.


Well, well!  This explains what Britain's infamous State Veterinary Service were doing about circovirus in British pigs from 1999 to 2005.

Absolutely nothing!

They were too busy scheming, lying, cheating, misleading the media and trying to terrorise anyone reporting them to Parliament, and the EU serious fraud squad, for test faking during Classified Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth.

Having got away with it so far, they are now repeating the performance with the results of their previous crime wave - MRSA st398.

This time it's even worse - nasty antibiotic resistant disease spreading from livestock to humans.

Report here

From exotic to endemic: a new disease of pigs

...9 November 2010

Research is underway to tackle a new and mysterious disease that threatens young pigs in the UK and Europe. Scientists have taken the first steps toward understanding the disease by developing a model to assess the severity of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), a new but common disease in the UK which was first seen in England in 1999 and Scotland in 2002...

...Werling says that when his team started their research in 2006 they knew nothing about the status of the disease England and that no one was researching it in Scotland or Wales either.

"The first news was that PCV2 present in England on a shocking scale. Present in 99% of English farms before they started vaccinating," says Werling. ""We have a real endemic disease at the moment and we may really struggle to get rid of it or we may not get rid of it at all."...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

PMWS - Circovirus. Antibiotic use in Danish pig herds and MRSA

This abstract helps illustrate the link between antibiotic use and PMWS (circovirus) outbreaks and explains the creation of MRSA st398 and increased veterinary abuse of drugs important to human health.

But still nothing is done either to curb wild dangerous veterinary prescription and cover-ups.

The veterinarians must want to collapse their industry in international disgrace. They are getting there at ever increasing speed.

It’s pretty obvious that you don’t spend money on antibiotics for healthy pigs, the antibiotic usage figures from government sources, when published, expose the enormous numbers of sick pigs being nursed through illness to slaughter.

Link to abstract here

Antimicrobial use in Danish pig herds with and without postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome.

Vibeke Frøkjaer Jensen, Claes Enøe, Henrik Wachmann, Elisabeth Okholm Nielsen

Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2010)

Volume: 95, Issue: 3-4, Pages: 239-247
·         PubMed ID: 20471123
Available from
A retrospective cohort study was performed on 130 pig herds in Denmark, to assess the effect of PMWS on the use of antimicrobial drug. The study comprised 65 herds diagnosed with PMWS during 2003-2004, and matched by the veterinary practitioner with 65 herds free from PMWS. Information on antimicrobial use 1 year before and 1 year after the diagnosis was achieved from the National Prescription Medicine Monitoring Database, VetStat, and summarized on quarter within age group and herd....

... Relative to the unaffected herds, the antimicrobial use in the sow units in the PMWS(+) herds was elevated significantly by 35% in the last quarter and 43% in the fourth quarter before positive diagnosis in the herds (p<0.05). In weaner pigs, the antimicrobial use increased significantly two quarters before, and one quarter after the positive diagnosis, by 68%, 91% and 124% respectively. In weaner pigs, effects were seen of herd size and season. The study support that increased morbidity occur for an extended period prior to the diagnosis of PMWS, both in the sow units and the weaner pig units and further indicate that the syndrome cease after the diagnosis, with a decrease in need for antimicrobial treatment.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

MRSA st398 in Danish cattle - Swedes worry

Swedish dairy farmers and their veterinarians are reacting to the  increasingly serious situation developing in Denmark.

The Swedish veterinary authorities are very aware that Danish farmers are isolated on admission to hospital, because of the dangers of spread within the hospital.

The advice, not to buy animals in, is good. It is clear that most transmission is animal to animal.

The British authorities remain in stubborn denial, with the domestic news black-out more or less intact.

In the  Internet age, that is a ridiculous situation: the world will demand explanations.

Mechanical translation from Swedish - link here

MRSA in cattle in Denmark

According to Danish media have MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) have been found in Danish cattle.MRSA is the bacterium that causes in humans are difficult to treat infections and which are called hospital infections.
- It is commonly used in pig and cattle herds, for example, Holland and Belgium. Where the situation is such that farmers are isolated in their own rooms when they are admitted to hospital, "saysCharlotte Hallén Sandgren, veterinarian and director of the Swedish Dairy Animal Health.
Own room might sound nice, but the situation is very serious. The good news is that the strain of MRSA found in Denmark, ST398, not yet proven to be particularly pathogenic.
- But bacteria are capricious. The man is worried about is that it will change their properties, "says Charlotte Hallén Sandgren.
She is also concerned that MRSA will spread to Swedish cattle farms.
- In Sweden, we use primarily penicillin in the treatment of mastitis.If we get MRSA and treat with penicillin so it means basically that we give free reign since the MRSA bacteria are resistant to it. And we have no way of screening tests to find it and if we could get it so we do not know how to get rid of it in affected herds, "says Charlotte Hallén Sandgren.
The main diffusion path is contact transmission. It is quite clear that the bacterium has a very good ability to attach to things that are in contact with.
- It is spread mainly through contact with other animals and humans, so do not buy animals and think about the procedures you have to accept any sort of presence on the farm, "says Charlotte Hallén Sandgren.
Farms that receive visits are recommended to require protective clothing and that visitors wash their hands before they enter the herd.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Increasing numbers of MRSA st398 carriers worry Dutch hospitals.

The Dutch worry about costs of increasing MRSA st398 carriers on their search and destroy policy.

Although MRSA st398 is present in Britain and has been for years, and we know that it has been found in livestock, the source is officially unknown and we have no statistics.

No specific precautions are taken when admitting veterinarians and pig workers to hospital.

We do not know the human costs of this laissez faire policy, let alone the financial implications on Britain's NHS.

Heads will have to roll in Britain. The Dutch are years ahead in tacking a worsening problem.

“...In the last years we have witnessed major changes in the Dutch MRSA epidemiology. Since 2003 a new MRSA strain (ST398), which originated from livestock, emerged in the Netherlands. 

Importantly, there is now a substantial number of MRSA carriers in the Netherlands with persistent (professional) exposure to ST398 MRSA in whom MRSA eradication will not be effective, due to repeated exposure..."

Extract of Utrecht University paper available here

Costs and effects of MRSA control in Dutch hospitals

authors  Wassenberg, M.W.M.

source  Geneeskunde Proefschriften (2010)

The full text of this item will be available after 11-05-2011

publisher  Utrecht University

document type  Dissertation


In the Netherlands the prevalence of MRSA among S. aureus bloodstream isolates was as low as 0.7% in 2008. This low prevalence is maintained by a nationwide MRSA policy (also called search and destroy), that has been employed in Dutch hospitals since 1984. In the last years we have witnessed major changes in the Dutch MRSA epidemiology.

Since 2003 a new MRSA strain (ST398), which originated from livestock, emerged in the Netherlands. Importantly, there is now a substantial number of MRSA carriers in the Netherlands with persistent (professional) exposure to ST398 MRSA in whom MRSA eradication will not be effective, due to repeated exposure.

We performed a large Dutch multicenter study and calculated that the relative risk on transmission of MRSA ST398 in the hospital, as compared to healthcare associated (HA)-MRSA, was only 0.28. The calculated RA ratio between HA-MRSA and livestock associated MRSA was 5.9 (95% CI 2.2-23.8), suggesting livestock associated MRSA is almost six times less transmissible than HA-MRSA. Also, the MRSA prevalence among admitted patients suspected for MRSA carriage because of treatment in foreign hospitals appeared lower than previously reported: 1.6% and 1.9% in two Dutch multicenter trial we executed between 2005 and 2008.

Besides changes in MRSA epidemiology, new rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) have become available that allow more rapid detection for MRSA carriage. The most important advantage of RDT is the reduction in unnecessary pre-emptive isolation days. RDT of MRSA reduced the number of pre-emptive isolation days with 48% and 60% when using chromogenic agar and MRSA PCR, respectively. Infection control policies to prevent S. aureus infections, both MSSA and MRSA, in the Netherlands are cost-saving, despite the costs to execute preventive control policies. Yet, cost-effectiveness of RDT for MRSA is unknown.

In the Dutch multicenter trial the extra costs of screening and pre-emptive isolation of high risk patients were €95.77, €125.43 and €6.74 per isolation day avoided, using IDI PCR, GeneXpert PCR and chromogenic agar for MRSA screening, respectively. Since the additional costs of one extra isolation day on a regular ward in a non-outbreak situation were estimated to be €26.34, chromogenic screening, but not PCR-based screening, is a cost saving procedure. In conclusion, there is no need to pre-emptively isolate patients with a high risk for MRSA carriage on hospital admission. These patients can be screened using both RDT and conventional microbiological cultures. Closure of wards for new admissions is rarely necessary anymore when using PCR-based testing.



Tuesday, 2 November 2010

MRSA st398 - Occupational hazard for pig farmers

The realisation of the full significance of MRSA st398 in pigs continues to grow.
This from Switzerland in French - mechanical translation
MRSA st398 is a major risk to the health of veterinarians and pig farmers.
Interestingly, the Swiss correctly record that MRSA st398 is in England, but do not make a specific link to pigs in England.
One wonders how long the British government will continue to hold back on information that should be made public.
Staphylococci resistant to methicillin (MRSA): a new occupational hazard among pig farmers
Bulletin of scientific monitoring of health, environment, labor: science news briefs.

2010, No. 10, p.
48-51 48-51
Full text in French available via link here

In 2004, Holland, a particular strain of Staphylococcus aureus resistant aureus1 (MRSA2 for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was found in people in contact with pigs.

After investigations it was found that 39% of Dutch pigs and 23% of pig farmers were carriers (in their nasal passages) of the strain whose DNA profiles obtained by the technique MLST3 (ST398) is usually different from the MRSA clones responsible for nosocomial infections (Maugat et al. 2009; Lucet et al. 2005).

Since then, a growing number of studies on the emergence of this strain in other countries (Canada, France, Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Singapore) and in other animals (horses, dogs, cows and chickens) were published. In January 2009, a study reports that this strain has been isolated in the USA during the control of two very large pig farms.

ST398 MRSA strains were found in 70% of animals and in 9 of the 14 employees of one of the two farms involved.  In Holland, the proportion of pig farmers colonized by these MRSA rose from 23% in 2004 to 50% in 2008 (against 0.03% in the general population, that is to say no contact with farm animals ).

In several countries the possibility of transmission from animals to humans and between humans has been confirmed by several studies and concerns primarily farmers, their families and veterinarians (Khanna et al. 2008; Smith et al. 2008; Wulf et al. 2008).

Therefore, the pig may be an important réservoir MRSA that may spread to other animals and humans.

The emergence of this new zoonose can have serious impacts on public health and is an emerging occupational hazard for pig farmers.

Indeed, if in the vast majority of cases, the nasal colonization of humans by these MRSA are asymptomatic, the involvement of MRSA ST398 in infectious complications (endocarditis, pneumonia, sepsis and infection of the skin) has already was observed.

The two items proposed in this note deal with the problem of infectious complications. [Author] 

Sunday, 31 October 2010

MRSA st398 - Bill Marler reports

The influential "food poisoning lawyer Bill Marler has published a new extensive article on MRSA,  including MRSA st398.

His article, as one might expect, includes comment on transmission to humans via food, including a case study. It contains information previously unknown.

In an article, sometimes reading like a roll call of the United Nations, Britain is, as usual, missing.

Even for those naive enough to believe the assurances given by Defra, the British agricultural ministry renamed after the Mad Cow scandal, that British livestock is clear of MRSA, the issue of MRSA contaminated meat is still relevant.

Because the authorities have apparently failed to find any MRSA  in a few barn dust samples reluctantly taken when ordered by the EU, that is used to support claims that British livestock is free of MRSA?

We need a few more lawyers taking notice of just what has been covered up in Britain for the last decade.

BSE should have been the wake-up call, let alone Circovirus, Classical Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth outbreaks in the last decade. There were, and are, others too.

Animals, just like people, do get ill, but not on this scale and with so much secrecy.

We need reform now and if it has to be sued and prosecuted into Britain's corrupt vets, so be it.

Read Bill Marler's article here

Commenting on an outbreak in the USA:

...It appears that MRSA-contaminated food was the vehicle in this outbreak affecting low-risk persons within the community, and that this food was likely contaminated by a healthy carrier whose only apparent exposure were visits to a possibly infected relative in a nursing home. This outbreak could be a health-care-associated infection that spread to the community. The outbreak strain of MRSA, however, was resistant only to penicillin and oxacillin and was sensitive to all other antibiotics tested. A strain originating in a health-care facility more likely would have been a multidrug resistant organism...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Circovirus linked to PCV2, PMWS, PDNS, PRRSV.

Everyone seems to be racing to publish.

This abstract helps explains the links between some of the various emerging pig diseases and circovirus.

It all comes back to circovirus and the often secret epidemics in pig herds, now being exposed all over the world.

The massive use of antibiotics to keep sick pigs alive created the dangerous MRSA st398

Abstract here

Molecular characterization of porcine circovirus 2 isolated from diseased pigs co-infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Jianzhong Yi and Chengqian Liu
Abstract (provisional)
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is the causative agent of PMWS. healthy pigs experimentally inoculated with PCV2 developed the typical microscopic lesions of PMWS but only mild clinical symptoms. The co-infection of PRRSV,PPV and PCV2 have been reported in recent years, Experimental studies on co-infection with PRRSV and PCV2 resulted in the microscopic lesions associated with PMWS and/or porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS) and the development of severe disease.
In June 2008, severe disease, known as ''high fever'' occurred in several pig farms in shanghai, leading to a 57% death rate. We simultaneously detected PRRSV and PCV2,PPV in the tissue samples from diseased pigs by PCR technology, PRRSV was detected, genome sequence blast showed the strain belongs to genotype 2, 99.4% homologous to the PRRS virus strain JXA1 isolated in China, which has been proved to cause porcine high fever disease with high morbidity and mortality (Tian, et al.,2007). There was no PPV detected in all the samples, but we detected PCV2 from all the PRRS infected samples. The complete genome of PCV2 strains were sequenced, phylogenetic and polymorphic analyses were carried out. BLAST searches revealed the highest sequence identity (99.5% nt and 99.3% aa) to Guangxi strain EF675230.
The phylogenetic tree showed that clustering of the isolates didn't strongly correlate to clinical signs or geographical distribution. Polymorphic analyses demonstrated that the amino acids at most of the polymorphic sites in ORF1 and ORF2 belong to the same amino acid group according to chemical or structural properties, and revealed that highly polymorphic regions overlapped with the known immunoreactive epitopes of ORF2. Key words: PCV2, PMWS, PDNS, PRRSV.

Circovirus in pigs invisibly spreading in the USA - means more MRSA

We get yet more confirmation that the pigs are sick with circovirus, and how it is spreading invisibly, this time from the USA.

That means ever more antibiotics to keep sick pigs free from bacterial disease and ever more MRSA in people.
This should have been stopped years ago.

Full report here

Prev Vet Med. 2010 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]

High prevalence of porcine circovirus viremia in newborn piglets in five clinically normal swine breeding herds in North America.

Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.

Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) can be vertically transmitted resulting in fetal infection with or without clinical signs and lesions. The primary objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of intrauterine PCV2 infection in clinically normal newborn piglets in conventional pork production facilities. Five commercial breeding herds located in the U.S. and Mexico were included in the study...

... In conclusion, an unexpectedly high prevalence of PCV2 viremia was detected in healthy sows (serum and colostrum) and their pre-suckle piglets in the five breeding herds investigated and PCV2b was more prevalent than PCV2a. This information adds to the knowledge of PCV2 infection in breeding herds.

Monday, 25 October 2010

MRSA st398 Danish female pig worker infects her child


The MRSA st398 situation in Denmark covered in previous reports gets ever more serious. 

Now we have details of female farm workers becoming infected and, in one case, the mother taking it home to infect her one year old son. 

We are not taking about unnamed victims in scientific reports but full news reports including photographs of the victims and the identities of the farms.

The situation for veterinarians, many nowadays women, and pig farm workers everywhere gets ever more difficult and unresolved.

There is no reason to think that the position in Denmark is worse than in other western countries. They have just been more open and truthful.

This is a selection of quotes from a mechanical translation of the transcript of a radio programme in Danish.

Read the story here

Pig bacterium

PIG BACTERIA While hospitals are fighting a fierce battle against multi-resistant bacteria, so bacteria will not be fought with ordinary penicillin allowed to spread freely in agriculture.

It tells P1 Documentary, which together with Å has uncovered problems with resistant bacteria that migrate from pigs to humans....

...The multi-drug resistant swine bacterium was first detected in Denmark in 2006. The bacteria live in the pig's snout and on its skin, and its spread in livestock agree dust when pigs sneeze and move around.

Doubling of infected people

Last year authorities registered 39 Danes infected with MRSA CC 398th In the first 9 months of 2010, is the special pig bacterium according Statens Serum Institut registered in 55 Danes. Continuing spread of infection in the same pace the rest of the year, it will mean a doubling of infected people in 2010.

it may be the tip of the iceberg, the resistant bacteria are detected typically only when the wearer gets a wound that can not be whole with common antibiotics.

Infection must be stopped 

One of the leading researchers in staphylococci, a professor of microbiology and Dr. Hans Jørn Kolmos from Odense University Hospital, is surprised that neither the authorities or agriculture has done nothing to eliminate the problematic bacteria in the stables:

We now have a couple of years called for research showing how widespread this problem is in Danish piggeries. But it has not been studied. Perhaps it is because once you have defined the problem, then you also have to do something about it.

Hans Jørn Kolmos think the authorities should tackle the source of infection before the problem grows even bigger:

. - The most problematic is that the bacterium is not in the pig barn.. Pops it up in the hospital it can go badly wrong, with serious wound infections in the course of an operation.. We have seen several examples.

Gav pig infection on to her baby

. P1 Documentary can talk about 1-year-old Casper from Hjørring who were infected with multidrug-resistant bacteria from swine, though he had never set foot in a piggery.

The source of infection was his mother Naja forest that suited the infected pigs.

Naja forest came first even of the infection when she changed jobs to a farm outside MRSA.

Louise Jensen was also infected through her work with pigs. She is surprised that she is treated like a plague hit the hospital.

. - Every time a nurse or doctor would come to me, they donned coveralls and long gloves. They should have plastic over his shoes and masks.

Back in the pig barn was the only change that she should wash their hands often and dry hands on paper instead of towels.

Spread freely from farm to farm

Neither the authorities or agriculture itself detects which farms, the infected pigs came from. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for farmers to keep infection out or to clean up his yard by getting new MRSA-free pigs in.

It tells the farmer Niels Jacobsen, who are themselves infected with swine bacterium, as are those of his staff on their daily walk in the barn....

...Swine Producers have told both the veterinarian and Labour that he has MRSA on the farm. But no authorities gave him specific instructions on this occasion, as his pigs freely sold to other farms....

No help from politicians

Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Henrik Hoegh (V), is concerned that the bacterium spreads But he will not stop trade than MRSA-infected pigs or require screening here and now.

The problem is that nobody can guarantee me that you can go and take tests for crews and by 100 percent say that the crew here is not MRSA, says Henrik Hoegh to P1 Documentary...

...As long as MRSA is not detected, it has no economic consequences for the individual farmer. animals are not more frequently ill than other pigs and the meat sold at the same price per kilo as non-infected animals.

Treatment does not pay 

It is possible for infected people to get rid of the bacteria with very intense antibiotics and washes from skin and nose.

But the treatments do not help the staff at MRS-infected farms, because the infection recurs, once they are back in the barn .

The resistant bacteria are caused by agricultural high antibiotic consumption. ...