Saturday, 21 April 2012

MRSA st398 - Long Silence Broken

Nothing really new that I can see, but interesting to see this paper comes from within the UK - Scotland in fact.

Britain is finally doing something, even if it is only consolidating and publishing existing knowledge. More will follow now.

Defra the agricultural ministry, still deny the presence of MRSA st398 in Britain's pigs although it has been present for years. Only comparatively recently have they admitted to it in cows' milk.

The final part of the full paper is interesting. It has long been quite clear, although repeatedly ignored and covered up by Defra, that live imports and exports plus germplasm are responsible for most of the recent animal disease outbreaks, epidemics and the carriage of disease both in, out and around Britain.

Vets and other farm visitors also carry some diseases, in, out and from farm to farm.

We know vets carry MRSA st398.

Anyway, The writer is delighted that the subject now being discussed in Britain.  The long silence is broken.

There will be much in the this blog's archive and the archives of the newsgroup to assist in tracing the evolution of MRSA st398 and its chilling implications.

Extract from full paper:

"The ST398 genome sequence-based analysis has provided a remarkable insight into the likely ancestral host state of the ST398 clone. It will now be exciting to mine the data for additional insights relating to the evolutionary In particular, it will be important to know if livestock trade routes have contributed to the spread of ST398 on a regional basis between farms and on an international level. Finally, it is worth commenting that the large number of countries represented by the authors of the paper highlights the critical importance of international cooperation in examining infectious disease issues of global importance."

The abstract and access to the full paper can be found here

Human Origin for Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

J. Ross Fitzgerald
+ Author Affiliations

The Roslin Institute and Edinburgh Infectious Diseases, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Address correspondence to J. Ross Fitzgerald,

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of human morbidity and mortality worldwide. The emergence in the last decade of a livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) clone which also has the capacity to cause zoonotic infections in humans has raised important questions regarding its origin and its potential to cause human epidemics. An important study by L. B. Price et al. [mBio 3(1):e00305-11, 2012] provides evidence for a human ancestral origin for LA-MRSA, raising concerns about agricultural practices that may have contributed to its emergence and expansion. The study highlights the potential for comparative whole-genome sequencing of closely related strains to provide valuable insights into the evolutionary history of bacterial pathogens.


Citation Fitzgerald JR. 2012. Human origin for livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. mBio 3(2):e00082-12. doi:10.1128/mBio.00082-12.
Copyright © 2012 Fitzgerald

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.