Thursday, 3 May 2012

MRSA ST398 goes from pigs to cattle

The significance of this Dutch research to Britain is not immediately apparent, but it seems real enough.

We know that British cattle have  MRSA and that this has reached the milk. We also know that this was covered-up for many months.

People have been infected, presumably either during the milking process or drinking the 2 percent of raw  (unpasteurised) milk still available in Britain.

The evidence comes directly from the House of Commons record where the Minister has been questioned by an alert MP nearly a year ago.
is the extract from Hansard ( the official record of the proceedings of Parliament )

Our previous articles cover the development of this scandal.

here  3 June 2011

MRSA in British milk and farm workers 

and here 6 June 2011

E. Coli in Sprouts and MRSA in milk

and here 18 June 2011

MRSA in Milk, Battle breaks out in Britain. Crooks versus Cranks.

As the BBC reported here in 2011 ... "A new strain of the MRSA "superbug" has been found in British cows and is believed to be infecting humans"...

Now it seems that MRSA st398 also travels from pigs to cattle. Clearly it may not be treatment of cattle with antibiotics that may be producing the MRSA in cows and milk. It may be the presence of pigs and cattle on the same farm.

The Dutch research can be found here

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2012, 54:28 doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-28
Mehri Tavakol (
Richard GM Olde Riekerink (
Otlis C Sampimon (
Willem JB Van Wamel (
Alex Van Belkum (
Theo JGM Lam (
ISSN 1751-0147
Article type Brief communication
Submission date 21 February 2012
Acceptance date 1 May 2012
Publication date 1 May 2012
Article URL
This peer-reviewed article was published immediately upon acceptance. It can be downloaded,
printed and distributed freely for any purposes (see copyright notice below

During routinely screening (50.000 milk samples on an annual basis) 14 MRSA ST398
strains were identified in the period of January 2008 to September 2008 in 14 different dairy
herds located in the provinces Overijssel and Gelderland the Netherland. Molecular analysis
was performed by Cfr9I PFGE, ST398-specific diagnostic PCR, spa typing, SCCmec typing
and Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) gene PCR. The molecular analyses of 14 MRSA
(one MRSA strain per herd) strains revealed that all strains belong to ST398 with 3 closely
related spa types (t011, t108 and t889, all commonly found in pigs) and carry 2 different
SCCmec types, IVa and V. All MRSA strains were resistant to two or more classes of
antibiotics and also PVL negative. The majority of farms (n = 9, 64%) harboured combined
livestock with both cows and pigs present. Our study contributes to the growing evidence that
MRSA ST398 is transmitted among various animal species and can be considered as an
etiological agent of mastitis in dairy cows.