Thursday, 21 October 2010

MRSA st398 spreading in Denmark, doctors fear

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According to The Copenhagen Post today, the medical profession are urging the Danish government to take action to stop the spread of MRSA st398 in pigs and thence to humans.

They know that 13 per cent of pigs carry the strain and that 55 people this year have been infected.

The health minister, very concerned about the situation, needs more data.

Our report, from August last, details the quite extraordinary story of his efforts to get information from the veterinary profession: MRSA - Danish Minister Whistle-blows

The pig industry in Denmark is reported to have failed to take any action to date.

The widespread use of antibiotics on Danish pig farms is blamed for MRSA st398.

The full report is here

Extracts:

Staph strain ready to spread, doctors fear

Thursday, 21 October 2010 14:14
A large segment of the pig population is carrying a highly-resistant strain of bacteria

Medical experts are urging the Health Ministry to take action against the spread of a highly contagious strain of bacteria now found in a resistant form in one out of eight pigs, reports public broadcaster DR.

According to a sample survey from DANMAP, the national programme for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria, around 13 percent of pigs were found to be carrying the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) CC 398 strain.

MSRA is resistant to antibiotics and can easily spread to humans.

... 55 people this year have already become infected with the bacteria...

...Some of these people are carriers who presently show no effects from the bacteria...

Henrik H√łegh, the health minister, said he was concerned about the figures but added that the ministry needed more accurate diagnosis data before an effective action plan could be put into effect.

The pig farming industry has also yet to take action against the spread of the MRSA strain.

Dr Mads Koch Hansen, president of the Danish Medical Association, argued that the bacteria must be beaten back now before it spreads out of control...