Thursday, 10 November 2011

MRSA st398 in German pigs

A new report reveals that MRSA st398 is widespread on German pig farms, especially the large operations fattening pigs.

In Continental Europe, the usual term is "MRSA cc398" : in the English speaking countries "MRSA st398" is the more usual description.

Britain continues to fail to admit that the strain is present in British pigs and, in the past, has actually denied that British pigs are carrying a form of MRSA known to be dangerous to humans.

The full text of the German research may be found here

Factors associated with the occurrence of MRSA CC398 in herds of fattening pigs in Germany

Published:10 November 2011

Abstract (provisional)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of MRSA in herds of fattening pigs in different regions of Germany, and to determine factors associated with the occurrence of this pathogen...


Overall, 152 of 290 (52%) fattening pig farms tested positive for MRSA...
 ... Identified spa-types were all associated with clonal complex CC398... 
...Logistic regression revealed herd size (large farms OR: 5.4; CI: 2.7-11.2; p<0.05), and production type (wean-to-finish OR: 4.0; CI: 1.6-10.4; p<0.05) as risk factors associated with a positive MRSA finding in fattening pig operations.


MRSA CC398 is widely distributed among herds of fattening pigs in Germany. Farm management plays a crucial role in the dissemination of MRSA with herd size, and production type representing potential major indicators.