Friday, 27 May 2011

Suspected Horse-to-Human Transmission of MRSA ST398

When “piggy” MRSA st398 starts infecting horses and little girls, we can expect both to get the attention (and what attention too!) in Britain and Ireland.

That the horse probably caught it at the vet hospital, adds to the veterinary problem.

It was obviously going to happen in the end. We know the vets are carriers, and that considerable veterinary effort has been employed to keep that from prominence in the media.

The original source even adds a photograph of the infection on the child's foot, who was wheelchair-bound because of Spinal Muscular Atropy type ll.

The full report including the letter and references can be found here 

Volume 17, Number 6–June 2011


Suspected Horse-to-Human Transmission of MRSA ST398

Engeline van Duijkeren, Comments to Author Lenny ten Horn, Jaap A. Wagenaar, Marco de Bruijn, Laura Laarhoven, Koen Verstappen, Willemien de Weerd, Nico Meessen, and Birgitta Duim
Author affiliations: Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands (E. van Duijkeren, J.A. Wagenaar, L. Laarhoven, K. Verstappen, B. Duim); University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands (L. ten Horn, N. Meessen); and Wolvega Equine Hospital, Oldeholtpade, the Netherlands (M. de Bruijn, W. de Weerd)

To the Editor: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is spreading worldwide among humans and animals, including horses. Many reports of MRSA colonization and infection in horses come from Canada and involve MRSA of sequence type (ST) 8, classified by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) as Canadian MRSA-5 or USA500. ST8 is thought to be a human epidemic clone that has adapted to horses (1). Another MRSA type, ST398, has recently begun spreading in Europe and North America and is associated with livestock (2). In the Netherlands, MRSA of ST8 (spa-type t064) and ST398 (spa-type t011), which belong to the livestock–associated CC398, predominate in clinical samples from horses (3). To date, human clinical infections with livestock–associated MRSA are uncommon in persons who have not had contact with pigs or calves (2). In this case study, we describe the suspected transmission of MRSA ST398 between a horse and a girl, which resulted in infection of the girl's right foot.

In the Netherlands, a 16-year-old girl with spinal muscular atrophy type II (wheelchair-bound and needing artificial ventilation) sought treatment at a hospital for an infected wound on her right foot thought to be caused by an insect bite (Appendix Figure). The girl was treated as an outpatient. The infection did not respond to empirical treatment with clindamycin and ciprofloxacin. From the infected wound, a MRSA strain that was resistant to clindamycin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, gentamicin, kanamycin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim/sulfonamide, and susceptible to rifampin and fusidic acid, was isolated 39 days after initial treatment. Identification of the bacteria and susceptibility testing were performed by using Vitek 2 (bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France). The girl did not have a history of hospital admission in other countries, nor contact with pigs or calves, but had had intensive contact with a foal. No information was available about hand hygiene practices the girl used after stroking the foal.

Because the girl was a frequent visitor to the hospital, according to the national hospital MRSA guidelines, decolonization therapy was indicated. Before therapy began, her 3 household members and their animals (7 adult Friesian horses, 2 dogs, and 2 cats) were screened for MRSA by enrichment culturing. Nasal swabs were taken from the animals; nasal, throat, and perineal samples were taken from the humans. MRSA with an identical susceptibility pattern was isolated from a sample taken from the nares of the girl's healthy Friesian foal. The foal had been hospitalized at a horse clinic 2 months earlier because of a wound infection and had been treated with antimicrobial drugs, but no samples had been taken from the horse's wound at that time. All other screening samples were negative for MRSA. The girl's wound healed after application of mupirocin ointment to the nares and perineum (3×/d for 5 days), washing of the body with chlorhexidine shampoo (1×/d for 5 days), and oral administration of fusidic acid and rifampin for 7 days; samples taken were negative for MRSA. The girl was advised not to touch the foal until it too was negative for MRSA. Without therapy, and within 3 months, the foal was negative for MRSA (confirmed by 3 repeated negative cultures of nasal samples by enrichment culturing).

Isolates from the girl and the horse were further investigated by Martineau PCR targeting the tuf gene (4), mecA PCR (5), ST398-specific PCR (6), spa typing (7), and PFGE using SmaI and Cfr9I as restriction enzymes (8). Both isolates were identified as S. aureus, were mecA positive, belonged to ST398, were spa type t011, were nontypeable by PFGE using SmaI, and had indistinguishable PFGE patterns using Cfr9I.

Colonization of persons in contact with infected or colonized horses has been widely reported (1–3). Clinical MRSA infections of humans associated with horse contact, however, are rare and, to our knowledge, only 2 reports have been published. The first report of a human infection came from Canada and concerned a veterinarian who had a tattoo site infection with Canadian MRSA-5, (ST8, SCCmec type IV, spa type t007) (9). Human skin infections with Canadian MRSA-5 associated with horse contact were also reported from 3 persons who worked in a foal nursery (10). MRSA ST398 spa-type t011 are cultured regularly from equine samples at the horse clinic (3); therefore, the foal probably became colonized during its hospitalization. Livestock-associated MRSA infections are rare in humans in the region where the girl lives, and human-to-human transmission of MRSA ST398 is uncommon. In addition, the girl was severely handicapped and could not travel freely. Therefore, we theorize that the foal, which was stabled in a barn at her home, was the most likely source of the infection. It is also possible that the girl and the foal contracted MRSA from an unidentified common source or that the foal was exposed by the girl, although this is less likely. Close collaboration between the pediatrician, infection control practitioner, veterinarians, and the human microbiologist was necessary to identify the suspected source of infection.

African Swine Fever spreading across Europe

A very simple answer, for Britain and Ireland to protect farms from African Swine Fever: stop all imports of live pigs.

The vets will oppose a ban, seeking to continue to profit from exports and imports, and the disease will apparently reach Britain in IIIIM (illegal imaginary infected imported meat).

In the event of ASF arriving in these islands, Britain's vets will once again maraud across England's green and pleasant land exercising their egos and powers at the expense of the people and their animals. They are protected by a weak government.

The claims below about knowing the unknowable, for example the very exact details of how it spreads in illegal importations by travellers, not you notice, legal imports, mirror the highly successful deception campaigns run by British veterinarians over CSF and FMD.

Even the origins as being Southern Africa and the method being ship's garbage are identical to one of the variations the writer fought off in 2000 when interviewed by Sky News during the CSF, Classified Swine Fever disaster. The story was an obvious fabrication, but it persisted and became established "fact."

Britain is still a world leader, influencing the world in the best techniques for veterinary cover-ups. They even reach United Nations agencies.

Oh and the government laboratory at Pirbright, source of one Foot and Mouth outbreak, continues its existence as an insecure laboratory run by incompetents, and protected by Ministers, keeping incidents secret for months. Their international accreditation needs to be withdrawn. Britain can buy cheaper and better science abroad, without the risks of escapes of live viruses to our farms.

The article below, from an influencial source, is a very fair reflection of the full report.

Full Pig Progress article here

Global threat: African Swine Fever spreading

//27 May 2011

Warning of a likely imminent upsurge of a deadly pig disease in the
Caucasus region and Russian Federation, FAO today called on affected countries to step up precautionary measures and for a concerted international effort to prevent the infection spreading more widely across the Northern Hemisphere.

Global threat

"African swine fever is fast becoming a global issue," said Juan
Lubroth, FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer. "It now poses an immediate
threat to Europe and beyond...

...Importantly, there is currently no vaccine for the disease, which is
very often lethal to pigs but is not harmful to humans.

Preventive strategies include quarantine, on-farm security and other
measures aimed at minimizing the risk of ASF being introduced and
becoming established. Early-warning contingency plans include
epidemiological information-gathering, training and awareness

African Swine Fever (ASF) was introduced into Georgia from southern Africa late in 2006, entering through the Black Sea port of Poti, where garbage from a ship was taken to a dump where pigs came to feed. Currently, ASF is spreading northwards at the rate of roughly 350 km a year... the spring of 2011 ASF suddenly appeared in the port of Murmansk, more than 3000 km from southern Russia, and close to the border with Finland. In 2009 it leaped 2000 kilometers to St Petersburg where, however, it appears to have been contained after a relapse at the end of 2010 and again in March 2011.

ASF long-distance jumps are food-borne, with virus surviving in pig meat products taken by travellers. At the destination, food scraps may be fed to pigs, setting off a new outbreak.

The frequency of such jumps is increasing as the originally-infected territory enlarges. The ASF virus strain now spreading is a very aggressive one...

... progress will be difficult as farmers often appear not to be reporting ASF outbreaks for fear of seeing their pigs culled without adequate compensation.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Monday, 23 May 2011

Overuse of drugs in animal farming linked to growing antibiotic-resistance in humans

The influenital magazine “The Ecologist” has published an important article on antibiotic overuse in livestock.

The figures quoted for antimicrobial use are from British government vets: the source carries the following legend:

There is no central record kept of the use of antimicrobials in animal in the UK. However it is reasonable to assume that there is a direct relationship between the quantities of antimicrobials sold and used in the UK. Our assessment does not include any measure of the quality or the degree of uncertainty for the figures reported.”

Highlights from "The Ecologist" article, which can be read in full here

Overuse of drugs in animal farming linked to growing antibiotic-resistance in humans

Tom Levitt
23rd May, 2011

Urgent calls from health experts to reduce antibiotic use on intensive farms are largely resisted by the agribusiness food lobby, who downplay its role in the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans. Tom Levitt reports

It is described as the most 'serious global crisis' yet in the farming industry no-one is talking in such terms.

Around one half of all antibiotics in Europe are prescribed for animals...

...The overuse comes at a cost as it contributes to an ever-increasing amount of antimicrobial resistance as bacteria evolve to withstand existing antibiotics. What's more there is now evidence these resistant bacteria are being transferred to humans via the food chain - putting us at risk of more untreatable infections...

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says drug use in farm animals plays a 'significant role' in spreading antibiotic-resistant salmonella and campylobacter infections in humans while EU food safety officials say it could also be a source of some antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA and E.coli - both potentially life-threatening infections - and, in the case of E.coli, a new highly resistant type of which was recently found on a large number of dairy, pig and poultry farms in England and Wales.

Dutch scientists recently went as far as estimating that between a third and one half of resistance in human infections in the Netherlands originated from farm animals. Although the figure is estimated to be lower in the UK, agriculture is believed to now account for the majority of antibiotic-resistance in food poisoning cases.
Despite this concern, efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, particularly on intensive pig and poultry farms, remain muted...

...In the UK, government vets estimated that 350 tonnes of antibiotics were used on farm animals in 2009. The vast majority, 95 per cent or more, in the pig and poultry sectors and the rest largely in dairy farming...

...In Europe the use of antibiotics as growth promoters may be banned but the antibiotics themselves are still able to be prescribed by a vet. For example, sales of tetracyclines, formerly used as a growth promoter (and still is in the US) despite its importance in treating infection in humans, remained at 45-55 per cent of antimicrobial sales to farmers in the UK in each year from 2004 to 2009. ..
... Unsurprisingly, the farms administering the highest quantities of drugs were the large conventional pig and poultry units. ...

...Campaign groups like the Soil Association say both the farming industry and government are downplaying the need to dramatically reduce antibiotic use in farm animals...

...In fact, like the US, the UK has deliberately shied away from attempts to reduce antibiotic-use in farming....

...There are signs the EU will try to bring in tougher regulations as part of its new animal health strategy, due later this year. MEPs recently called for a crackdown on antibiotic use saying food was emerging as, 'an important vector for transmitting antimicrobial resistance through antibiotic residue in meat'. They said it was time for a more 'rational use' of antibiotics by farmers, which would mean greater focus on alternatives such as improved hygiene, vaccination and breeding for resistance.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

China investigating Canadian MRSA

Horizontal Gene Transfer is complicated science but the Chinese in association with the Canadian McGill University have used Canadian samples or data and have been working on them.

Their conclusions support inter species transmission and mutation of MRSA: that's MRSA passing between different species of livestock and to and from humans.

These findings have important implications with regard to animal husbandry practices that may inadvertently enhance the contact of human and animal bacterial pathogens.”

If you wanted a perfect machine to transmit and mutate disease, you would adopt the North American integrator and pyramid system with some sleazy modifications introduced by Britain’s bent vets and their cronies. These husbandry systems are dangerous.

It's almost as if the systems were designed to give the maximum number of animal to animal, animal to humans and human to animal interactions.  They attempt to solve some of the resulting health problems with massive quantities of antibiotics. It does not work.

Animals constantly moving about between farms with veterinarians and so-called welfare inspectors travelling from farm to farm spreading and carrying MRSA. It’s nuts! It is not even profitable.

As senior pig veterinarians in Britain are beginning to admit, without accepting any blame, the producers cannot make money out of sick pigs.

It is the main reason why the pig industry in Britain complains it is in financial trouble. The Danes have long tackled the problems properly by, at least, reducing the use of antibiotics.

Danish pigs, although still with problems, are far more productive and profitable. Some British veterinarians have at last realised that the Danes will eventually seek to profit from lower rates of antibiotic use and less MRSA also by legitimately advertising their cheaper pork as also healthier - and in Britain, where they have a long established marketing machine and brands.

Forced by their government, Danish veterinarians have had to face up to their problems. It is inevitable that their farmers will use the advantages, that flow from a more regulated veterinary establishment, in marketing.

The message to British veterinarians is clear - don't kill off the pigs that have given you a good living for so long.

The full paper is available on the same url here – scroll down from the abstact.

Sequence Diversities of Serine-Aspartate Repeat Genes among Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Different Hosts Presumably by Horizontal Gene Transfer

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is recognized as one of the major forces for bacterial genome evolution. Many clinically important bacteria may acquire virulence factors and antibiotic resistance through HGT. The comparative genomic analysis has become an important tool for identifying HGT in emerging pathogens. In this study, the Serine-Aspartate Repeat (Sdr) family has been compared among different sources of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to discover sequence diversities within their genomes.

Four sdr genes were analyzed for 21 different S. aureus strains and 218 mastitis-associated S. aureus isolates from Canada. Comparative genomic analyses revealed that S. aureus strains from bovine mastitis (RF122 and mastitis isolates in this study), ovine mastitis (ED133), pig (ST398), chicken (ED98), and human methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (TCH130, MRSA252, Mu3, Mu50, N315, 04-02981, JH1 and JH9) were highly associated with one another, presumably due to HGT. In addition, several types of insertion and deletion were found in sdr genes of many isolates. A new insertion sequence was found in mastitis isolates, which was presumably responsible for the HGT of sdrC gene among different strains. Moreover, the sdr genes could be used to type S. aureus. Regional difference of sdr genes distribution was also indicated among the tested S. aureus isolates. Finally, certain associations were found between sdr genes and subclinical or clinical mastitis isolates.

Certain sdr gene sequences were shared in S. aureus strains and isolates from different species presumably due to HGT. Our results also suggest that the distributional assay of virulence factors should detect the full sequences or full functional regions of these factors. The traditional assay using short conserved regions may not be accurate or credible. These findings have important implications with regard to animal husbandry practices that may inadvertently enhance the contact of human and animal bacterial pathogens.

Huping Xue1,2, Hong Lu2, Xin Zhao1*

1 Department of Animal Science, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Abstract Top


Certain sdr gene sequences were shared in S. aureus strains and isolates from different species presumably due to HGT. Our results also suggest that the distributional assay of virulence factors should detect the full sequences or full functional regions of these factors. The traditional assay using short conserved regions may not be accurate or credible. These findings have important implications with regard to animal husbandry practices that may inadvertently enhance the contact of human and animal bacterial pathogens.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Antibiotic use in pigs in Britain questioned

The scandal over antibiotic use in British pigs and their poor health is finally reaching the most important trade media this morning.

Why is British production so low and why are so many antibiotics used? 

A ten year old would get the point.

The pigs have been ill for the past decade. They would not live to get to slaughter without huge quantities of antibiotics prescribed by veterinarians.

That carries serious dangers to human health such as MRSA.

Exports of live pigs for breeding, with clean health certificates signed by vets, continued and continue.

An eleven year long disaster is finally surfacing. It was impossible for Britain's corrupt government veterinarians to hide up a major world scale scandal any longer.

Full Farmers Weekly report here

Pig producers question antibiotic use

Sarah Trickett

Monday 16 May 2011 10:30

Antibiotic use in pigs is likely to become a focus in the future as Danish producers are already using three times less than the UK.

That was according to David Strachan, swine and sales marketing manager at Boehringer Ingelheim at last week's Pig and Poultry LIVE, who explained the importance of controlling subclinical disease in order to meet the two-tonne sow target.

He said the Danes would likely use the "less antibiotic issue" as a way of marketing their meat and Mr Strachan stressed the importance for attention to detail in cutting clinical disease and antibiotic use.

"The barrier to meeting the two-tonne sow target is disease. Pre-weaning diarrhoea and the effect on weaning weight is huge," he said.

"Environment and biosecurity is vital when it comes to controlling disease. Regional health initiatives are a good idea but they need a buy in from everyone. In Denmark they have an open system of health declarations and this seems to work well."

The UK is currently only producing 1,650kg of pigmeat a year compared to 2.2t of pigmeat by the Danes. And the only way Mr Strachan believes we are ever going to meet the two-tonne sow target is by controlling disease....

Friday, 13 May 2011

MRSA found lurking in supermarket meat

Interesting stuff - The Independent publishes a piece on American research linking MRSA to meat, but chooses the one that excludes pork and suggests contamination from meat handling rather than from the animals.

There is nothing wrong with that, but alas it is only a small part of a very worrying situation.

Full Independent report here

MRSA found lurking in supermarket meat

Friday, 13 May 2011
A new study announced May 12 discovered supermarket meats in the US contaminated with dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA...
...Scientists think the MRSA might be transferred to the meat by food handlers who carry the superbug, or by contaminated machinery in meat processing plants.
In the study, scientists found that 22.5 percent of 289 meat samples from Detroit grocery stores tested positive for MRSA. The breakdown: 20.5 percent of beef, 25 percent of chicken, and 24.6 percent of turkey samples were contaminated.
This news follows reports that MRSA has been discovered in pork products in Canada and Europe, as well as a recent US-based Translational Genomics Research Institute study that found 47 percent of supermarket meat in several US states carried Staph bacteria...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

MRSA st398 - human infections in German pig production areas

The designations cc398 and St398 are interchangeable – one and the same. MRSA cc398 is prefered in some European countries.

“Here we describe the emergence of MRSA CC398 as a cause of human infections in a north-western German university hospital located in an area with a high density of pig production.”

Britain does not bother, seemingly because nobody has warned the hospitals of the risk from pigs, calves and from pig workers and veterinarians. We do not, according to our bent veterinarians, have MRSA in our pigs.

Everyone is going to want to know how Britain missed it.

British government vets with a taste for faking tests during epidemic, attempting to intimidate witnesses to Parliament, defying Courts and relying on PR to solve epidemics are not going to be believed.

Their battle honours include mishandling and losing to BSE, Circovirus, Classical Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth, Avian Flu, Swine Flu and much else including delaying a General Election and having to be renamed and reorganised to try to leave past disgraces behind them.

This is lining up to be the biggest scandal of the 21st century

Abstact in full here

Sunday, May 08, 2011

12:30 – 13:30

MRSA: trend, surveillance, genetic characterisation

MRSA CC398 as an emerging cause of human infections in Germany

R. Köck, A. Mellmann, A.W. Friedrich, K. Becker* (Münster, DE)

Objectives: Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) of the clonal complex (CC) 398 have emerged in European livestock and among persons with a direct contact to these animals. Here we describe the emergence of MRSA CC398 as a cause of human infections in a north-western German university hospital located in an area with a high density of pig production.
Methods: All patients admitted to the hospital between 2008 and October 2010 were screened for nasal MRSA carriage at admission. Every first MRSA isolate of each patient case as well as every isolate from clinical specimens was typed using S. aureus protein A gene (spa) sequence typing. Isolates were grouped into spa clonal complexes (spa-CC) by the Based Upon Repeat Pattern Algorithm (BURP). Isolates clustering in the same spa-CC with spa types t011, t034 and t108 (known as the predominant spa types associated with MRSA CC398 from livestock) were considered to represent potential livestock-related MRSA CC398 isolates. If MRSA isolates were detected in material obtained within 72 h after admission, the cases were defined as imported.

Results: In total, 1,748 MRSA isolates were characterized. Among these, 1,378 isolates were from screening specimens, 31 from blood cultures, 45 from respiratory secretions, 134 from wound swabs, 10 from abscesses, 13 from urine and 137 from clinical varia. The proportion of MRSA CC398 on all MRSA found was 21% in 2008, 23% in 2009 and 28% in 2010. Among isolates from screening specimens, this proportion increased from 24% in 2008 to 33% in 2010. MRSA isolates from blood cultures were associated with MRSA CC398 in 6%, from abscesses in 10%, from wound swabs in 8%, from respiratory secretions in 16%, from urine in 0% and from clinical varia in 15%. Overall MRSA CC398 was found in 14%, 9% and 11% of all clinical specimens in 2008 to 2010, respectively. Ninety four % of all MRSA CC398 cases were classified as imported. The distribution of spa types among isolates considered to belong to CC398 was t011 (52%), t034 (34%), t108 (6%), t1451 and t2011 (each 2%), t1197, t1250, t1255, t1457, t2346, t2576, t2582, t2741, t3934 and t5095 (each less than 1%).

Conclusion: MRSA CC398 is going to become the predominant MRSA clonal lineage in a German university hospital located in a rural area representing one third of all MRSA isolates from screenings in 2010. Of utmost interest, MRSA CC398 isolates have also emerged as frequent causes of infections.

MRSA ST398 causes more MRSA carriers and infections

More evidence from the Netherlands that Maryn McKenna, the science journalist, and others, were right to identify and publicise MRSA st398 as a major threat to human life.

And readers will find that the writer was right to say that it has been hidden up in Britain.

We still await an admission from the British government and an acknowledgement of how long MRSA st398 has been present on British farms.

British veterinarians are going to have to explain their deplorable conduct before an unsympathetic world audience.

The organised libel and harassment campaign against the writer because of his disclosures will prove a good starting point for serious investigators and journalists.

Source here

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Infection and colonization with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398 versus other MRSA in an area with a high density of pig farms.


PAMM Laboratory for Medical Microbiology, De Run 6250, 5504 DL, Veldhoven, The Netherlands,


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the emergence of animal related methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398 in an area with a high density of pig farms. A retrospective analysis was performed of all MRSA isolates in the laboratory database from 2002 till 2008 including typing results and clinical data from infection control archives and patient charts. The implementation of the screening of people in contact with pigs and veal calves for MRSA led to an increase in the average number of newly identified carriers from 16 per year between July 2002 and July 2006 to 148 between July 2006 and December 2008. This is a 925% increase of which 82% (108/132) was due to ST398. The majority (74%) came from targeted screening but 7% was due to unexpected findings. A wide range of infections with ST398 occurred in patients with and without contact with livestock varying from post-operative wound infections to sepsis and post-trauma osteomyelitis with an overrepresentation of spa type t567 among the clinical isolates. ST398 isolates were more often multi-resistant than isolates of other spa-types. The emergence of MRSA ST398 led to an increase in both MRSA carriers and MRSA infections.



[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Monday, 9 May 2011

MRSA in Pigs and Farm Workers in Spain

This report from Spain is really more of the same fleshing out the detail, which simply makes the British black hole of information about porcine MRSA in Britain's pigs ever more disgraceful.

Britain's corrupt government veterinarians are not going to talk or lie their way out of this one.

They have just had to admit, with much fluster and bluster that they went over the top in culling  animals during  the disasterous Foot and Mouth epidemic in 2001.

Outside experts tried to tell them they had got it wrong and merely collected rudeness and arrogance from  veterinary civil servants in return.

They will have to answer for their actions and inaction in respect of MRSA in due course.

Foot and Mouth culls merely mean cruelty on a vast scale and a huge bill for the taxpayer, MRSA is potentially rather more sinister for human health, not least pig farmers.

Abstact here

Sunday, May 08, 2011

12:30 – 13:30

MRSA in animals

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from swine and farm workers in Spain

C. Potel-Alvarellos, L. Constenla-Carames, A. Moreno-Flores, C. Lopez-Coton, E. Comesaña-Da-Vila, L. Eiroa-De-La-Puente, S. Perez-Castro, M. Alvarez-Fernandez* (Vigo, Pontevedra, ES)

Objectives: To determine the prevalence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization among swine and related workers.
Methods: The nares of 197 swine and 8 workers from four production systems comprising 2,900 live pigs were sampled. The swabs were cultured on CNA and MRSA selective agar (bioMerieux).

S. aureus strains were identified by the tube coagulase test. MRSA was confirmed by cefoxitin and oxacillin disk diffusion test. The MRSA strains were characterized by pulsed field electrophoresis (PFGE) using EagI restriction enzyme, spa typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). PCR was used to determine the SCCmec type and the presence of the mec and the pvl genes.

Results: The swine ages were 3 (n= 28, MRSA 21.4%), 8 (n=45, MRSA 26.6%), 12 (n=10, MRSA 30%), 16 (n=75, none MRSA), and 24 (n= 25, MRSA 8%) weeks. Additionally 14 adult sows were studied being the MRSA prevalence 14.3%.

A total of 25 (12.7%) MRSA isolates were recovered from swine and 6 (75%) MRSA were recovered from workers.

All the strains were ST398. The only SCCmec identified was type V. The most common spa-type among pigs was t011 (84%), and it was the only spa-type identified among workers (100%). The t1451 spa-type was identified in the remainder of the pigs (16%), all of them belonged to the same farm and were SCCmec V positive. PFGE classified the t011 strains in four types. The workers were colonized by the same PFGE types than the related animals except in one case. All the strains were pvl negative.

Conclusions: The results showed that the colonization of swine by MRSA is common, being the nasal colonization among workers very frequent.

PFGE results showed diversity within the spa t011 strains.

Swine could be an important reservoir for MRSA representing a challenge for human health care systems.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

MRSA in pigs - progress in Britain

Britain's Health Protection Agency is effectively blowing the whistle on Britain’s corrupt veterinary establishment and their MRSA cover-up.

They are certainly contradicting them. We cannot expect them to actually admit that MRSA st398 has been in Britain for years and that the pigs have been sick for more than a decade. It does not work like that in Britain.

At least we are not getting “We have not got it in the UK.” again, and this report clearly recognises "a problem affecting all European counties.”

Presumably even Britain’s bent government vets realise we are in Europe. They waste enough time there.

We get the problem for farmers and those in contact with pigs recognised:

“However, there appears to be an increasing problem involving transmission of MRSA (particularly sequence type 398) from colonized livestock, particularly pigs, to farm workers, abattoir workers and veterinarians”

They also note “geographical clustering due to dissemination through regional healthcare networks.”

There is geographical clustering of this and other pig related human disease, very noticeable in Canada too, and there seems, even after quite some years, a bias towards pig producing areas.

And finally the serious nature of the problem recognised “MRSA infections continue to pose a significant public health challenge.”

Report here

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 May;66 Suppl 4:iv43-iv48.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: the European landscape.

Johnson AP.


Department of Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, HPA Centre for Infections, Colindale, London, UK.


Pan-European surveillance of bacteraemia caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) shows it to be a problem affecting all European countries, although there is marked geographical variation in prevalence. Although the proportion of S. aureus bacteraemia due to MRSA is declining in many countries, data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS) for 2008 showed that in more than one-third of countries the proportion remained >25%. In contrast to bacteraemia, community-associated MRSA infection in Europe remains relatively uncommon. However, there appears to be an increasing problem involving transmission of MRSA (particularly sequence type 398) from colonized livestock, particularly pigs, to farm workers, abattoir workers and veterinarians who are in contact with such animals. Molecular analysis of isolates of MRSA has shown that there has been spread of only a limited number of MRSA clones in Europe and that many of these clones show geographical clustering due to dissemination through regional healthcare networks. Despite our increasing understanding of the epidemiology of MRSA in Europe, MRSA infections continue to pose a significant public health challenge.



[PubMed - in process]