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]