Thursday, 22 December 2011

MRSA on German Organic and Conventional Pig Farms

This apparently previously unpublished report is not peer reviewed.

However, the summary does seem to accord with common sense. It does not seek to claim that organic pigs are free from MRSA st398 and the reasons why organic farming has less MRSA in pigs seem reasonable.

The incidence of MRSA on German conventional pig farms is amazing, not least when compared with the alleged absence of MRSA on British pig farms.

If the industry really believed this was the situation in Britain, they would be basing all their marketing on it – and making a fortune. 

It would be a pretty remarkable performance to keep Britain clear of a disease admitted almost everywhere else, and for years.

Why don’t they make the claim loud and bold of a superior product?

They don’t because they do not want to become associated too closely with British state veterinary crime. They do not have the protection of Crown Immunity.

Veterinary heads are going to roll in Britain. The current situation would not and will not stand scrutiny. The vets now have no way out. They left it too long to whistle-blow or own up.

The report is available here

21st December 2011

Summary translation
In the last few years, importance of MRSA in livestock grows more and more. In this study, the occurrence of MRSA was assessed on 42 organic and 88 conventional pig herds in different regions of Germany by taking dust samples and nasal swabs. In addition, the spa-types were identified. The results of this study showed that 11 of the 42 (26%) examined organic pig herds were MRSA-positive, whereas 92% of the conventional pig herds were identified as MRSA-positive. In both husbandry systems, similar spa-types (t011, t034) were identified, which are associated with the MRSA ST398.

The low prevalence of MRSA in organic pig herds in comparison to conventional pig farming is due to different factors: Perhaps the most important one is moving animals less than in conventional pig farming. One reason is the preferred form of closed systems in organic pig farming. Because of this, possibilities for intake of MRSA from outside are low. MRSA which are already in the organic pig population are not able to spread as fast as those in conventional systems because of a strong competitor flora and low animal density. Now it will be necessary to examine especially the intake of MRSA in organic pig herds in former studies and to dam its spread by regular screenings of animals and their environment.