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