Saturday, 29 September 2012

MRSA st398 - Employer and Employee responsibility

This is from a pig farming publication in Denmark, so naturally it is a little defensive and favourable to the industry.

Never the less, it makes the risks and responsibilities of employers to employees, and of both to hospitals, clear.

We don’t need to take precautions in the UK, because Britain repeatedly claims British pigs do not have MRSA st398. (MRSA cc398)  On the basis of inadequate unsupervised tests, forced on them by the EU, British government veterinarians say they have not found any.

If any employee or hospital in Britain does contract MRSA st398 (cc398) directly or indirectly from pigs, any resulting court case will be a classic. Employers will claim they knew of no risks and employees will claim they were not told of any.

Mechanical translation

Report originally in Danish here

MRSA in the community both in humans, pets and livestock. 

The pig-related MRSA CC398 can be treated. Therefore, all who work with pigs, saying that they could be potential carriers of MRSA CC398 when they are in contact with health services.


MRSA is a general term for multidrug-resistant staphylococcus bacteria. MRSA CC398 is one of these bacteria, which can be found in the pig house, where it creates a safety problem. Therefore, all owners who have herd tested positive duty to disclose it to their employees. If an employee is found positive, then the owner should inform all employees about this.
In DANMAP 2011, the annual report on antibiotic consumption from the National Food Institute, shows that 16 per cent. of the Danish pig herds are MRSA positive...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Salmonella Stanley in Britain

Already discrepancies about the UK’s place in this emerging human and animal health outbreak are appearing.

Compare this report here, from the ECCPC (not mentioning Britain) with what follows.

"...The Salmonella Stanley infection involving 167 confirmed and 254 probable cases has been reported in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland. Food and veterinary investigations conducted in these Member States suggest a likely connection to the turkey production chain and the outbreak..."

A brilliant report from Gretchen Goetz from Food Safety News in the United States, here that places cases in Britain, even providing a map.

"...The first cases associated with this outbreak occurred in Hungary in August of 2011, but the outbreak was not detected until late June 2012, when health officials were alerted to the fact that an unusually high number of S. Stanley infections had been reported in Belgium. Since that time, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovak Republic and the United Kingdom have all reported cases of S. Stanley with a DNA fingerprint indistinguishable from the strain being tracked in Belgium..."

Her map places cases outside our door, in the same East Anglia so often abused and battered by everything veterinary corruption can throw at us for so long. (Bird Flu in turkeys for example)

The omission of Britain from disease reports is very typical of what we have come to expect in Britain: a national media in the iron grip of a panicking veterinary establishment, even extending their influence abroad.

The “embargo” will break of course, and no doubt someone will find an obscure news release in an underused site to show that we are wrong and that Defra, Britain's oft discredited government department, faithfully reported everything at the earliest opportunity. We are used to that too.

But we have checked the main news for the past week in Britain on the usual search engines – nothing apart from one food production publication.

Now Salmonella Stanley may not be the biggest zoonotic disease issue facing us, but the lack of transparency originating  in veterinary Britain is a long-standing disease that threatens us all.

Once again, we have to rely on the United States to tell us what is happening in Britain. 

Sunday, 16 September 2012

MRSA spreading from live pig movements.

It seems a trifle ironic that Edinburgh are using statistics provided by the very transparent Danes, to show there is a problem that does not, it has long been claimed by Britain’s government vets, exist in Britain.

However, the conclusions seem to accord with common-sense and confirm that the persistence, and indeed increase of disease in pigs, is largely down to excessive live animal movements.

Solutions are going to be difficult to find given the structure of the industry, which makes it all the more surprising that the British government should continue to insist that British pigs are clear of MRSA st398

Abstract and access to full report here

Available on line 15 September 2012

Disease transmission on fragmented contact networks: Livestock-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the Danish pig-industry

► We model the between-farm transmission of LA-MRSA in the Danish pig-industry. ► Movement-induced transmission alone can yield a high probability of persistence at very low prevalence. ► There are currently no practical, low-cost, farm-based control strategies that will effectively tackle endemicity in the pig-industry. ► A low level of non-movement induced transmission strongly affects colonisation dynamics.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

British Newsgroup,

The importance of the British Newsgroup, can finally be spelled out.

The British establishment have been caught in a massive cover-up over Hillsborough.

The same techniques of manufacturing and disseminating false stories was used to cover up the source and handling of the 2000-2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic, by the then agricultural ministry MAFF, now Defra.

My early posts to the newsgroup  say 2001 -2005, contain all the necessary information for journalists to follow the trail, identify the politicians, civil servants, trade organisations, individuals and, alas, journalists and publications involved.  The finance necessary was passing through intermediaries from MAFF.

The purpose of the cover-up was to obscure mistakes made by politicians and civil servants, and later to try to discredit critics, and witnesses to various bodies over a wide range of issues.

As friends will know, the writer, very reasonably, did not expect to be here to tell the tale, and it was his attempt to do the right thing for Britain and its people and leave the key loose threads hanging for professionals to unpick the story later.

When attempts were made to silence him, most importantly by constantly trying to get him offline, this was his response in a form safe, we hope, from British state corruption.

So, it is, basically, all there for full criminal investigation and prosecutions.

Readers should not be too diverted by the highly personal nature of some of the attacks on the writer. Few if any of the key players have ever posted to Those throwing insults and claiming expertise they do not really possess can be safely ignored. I have grown to be very tolerant of their attempts to torment me, others should do the same. They swallowed the fabrications from Britain's corrupt veterinary establishment hook, line and sinker, because they were told what they wanted to hear. My occasional intemperate outbursts can be taken as the desperate efforts of a very sick man struggling, with time against him, to break through an organised barrage of abuse and disinformation. Anyway, everyone can form their
own opinion.

The investigating authorities should be wary of any attempts to close down or swamp it or indeed tamper with the posts.

Much more, deliberately removed from the WWW, is available from my personal records long removed to safety abroad.

I expect this will result in another storm of abuse and veiled threats.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

E. Coli emerging news

There has been a major conference underway in the USA and much material of interest to livestock farmers is emerging.

Maryn McKenna's blog provides the best journalistic source.

I'll just whet the appetite and encourage you to read the whole.

Britain does not have to stay in a state of abject ignorance and blatant disinformation enforced by Britain's government veterinarians and their cronies.

International eyes are quite rightly on any country reporting abnormal, unreal patterns, or indeed  failing to provide any believable information

That's how it is done in real science, by real scientists, folks!

Maryn McKenna's blog is here

E. Coli Behaving Badly: Hospitals, Travel, Food (ICAAC 2)
By Maryn McKenna Author September 11, 2012 |  12:41 pm |

...Out of the first two days of (hundreds of) papers and posters, here are just a few unnerving reports.

Infections with multi-drug resistant E. coli — known by the acronym ESBL for “extended spectrum beta-lactamase,” indicating resistance to penicillins and cephalosporins — have been assumed to be a hospital phenomenon...

... but also found that 107 of the patients, or 37 percent, had acquired their infections before they entered the hospital. In other words, multi-drug resistant E. coli is now spreading in the everyday world, in an undetected and untracked way.

More than half of the cases the Doi team found were due to a specific strain of E. coli known as ST131...

...The group say: “Most of the … ‘recent’ isolates (2005-2011) were extensively multi-drug resistant, i.e., resistant to ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, nalixidic acid, sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline.”

Finally, a team from the Netherlands examined the rapid emergence of ESBL E. coli in that country — a particular puzzle, because...

...the Netherlands has one of the lowest rates of antibiotic use in humans in Europe. Nevertheless, when the researchers examined fecal samples that were volunteered by 1,713 Amsterdam residents living at home — that is, not hospital patients — they found that 8.5 percent were ESBL. That is, these community E. coli were resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins — and also in many cases to gentamicin, co-trimoxazole and Cipro.

Knowing that antibiotic use is kept to low levels — and therefore that there ought not to be selective pressure that would drive the emergence of resistance — the group looked for other ways that selective pressure might be being applied. They found two. I’ll quote from a statement they released to media attending ICAAC:

The 8.5 percent resistance… is approximately the same as we found a few years ago in the community in Spain and France, two countries where antibiotic use in general and resistance rates in hospitals are much higher than in Dutch hospitals. The prudent use of antimicrobials in the Netherlands contrasts with a very high use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. In the questionnaires, we have asked about antibiotic use, travel history and eating habits… The question remains whether the rise is due to travel to countries with higher resistance rates or to contamination through the food chain.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Veterinary Antibiotics – Swiss resistance situation critical

This is the Swiss government. The release speaks for itself.

Full release here

Antibiotics in veterinary medicine: fewer sales – resistance situation remains critical
Bern, 10.09.2012 - The sale of antibiotics used in veterinary medicine fell overall by 5% in 2011 compared with 2010. But there is need for action, because the increase in sales volume of newer cephalosporins is continuing. This is a problem in view of the tendency for the development of resistance to these broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Antibiotics are indispensable medicines for use in microbial infections both in human and in veterinary medicine. But their use can also lead at the same time to the development of resistance that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve successful therapy. In Switzerland, therefore, antibiotic resistance has been monitored in production animals and data gathered on the sale of antibiotics since 2006.

Resistance trends
In 2011 the resistance situation did not substantially change with most bacteria studied by comparison with the previous year.
  • As already observed in the previous year, the rate of resistance in Campylobacter isolated from broiler chickens to fluoroquinolones increased further in 2011. This development is worrying since fluoroquinolones are one of the classes of antibiotic with the greatest importance both for veterinary and for human medicine.
  • The occurrence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus) in fattening pigs remained constant compared with the previous year.
  • For the first time in the national resistance monitoring programme, selective methods of detection were used in broiler chickens, pigs and bovine animals to search for bacteria resistant to all penicillins and cephalosporins (so-called ESBL-forming enterobacteria). In these studies, E. coli was found in 32.6% of broiler flocks, 7.4% of pigs and 8.6% of bovine animals. To estimate the importance of these resistance rates for human medicine, the isolates concerned are currently being characterised further.
The standardised collection of resistance data in healthy slaughter animals provides an important decision-making basis for  measures to preserve animal health and food safety in Switzerland; It not only allows resistance to be monitored, but also permits a comparison with the resistance situation in humans and the situation in other countries.
Sales figures
A further decrease in the overall volume of sales has been reported. Sales declined by 5.1% compared with 2010 and by as much as 14% compared with 2008. The most antibiotics sold in terms of volume remain sulphonamides. For the first time, penicillins occupy second place ahead of tetracyclines. Medicated premixes accounted for 65% of the total volume in 2011 and were thus in the same order of magnitude as in previous years.
The stead increase in cephalosporins that was already observed last year is also continuing this year. This is particularly marked in the products for treating mastitis in dairy cows. Here the increase seen over the last 6 years amounts to 71%.
Need for action
The spread of multiresistant bacteria such as MRSA and ESBL-forming enterobacteria, which are also being found to an increasing extent in humans and can now only be treated with a few reserve antibiotics, is a cause of global concern. It is thus necessary to ensure that the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine does not compromise their efficacy in human medicine and that, in terms of animal wellbeing, the selective treatment of animals with antibiotics remains possible at the same time. This objective has been anchored in a strategy paper of the FVO and an action plan drawn up for the next few years. Further information is available at (German or French).
The Swiss 2011 Zoonoses Report has been published
The Swiss 2011 Zoonoses Report was published at the beginning of September. It provides information on the present occurrence and spread of some important zoonoses (infections that can be transmitted from animals to humans) and on the importance of corresponding monitoring and control measures in Switzerland, such as the monitoring of antibiotics resistance. The report can be downloaded or ordered in English at

Norovirus, Pigs and People

The writer has, for years, been curious about a possible link between human Norovirus and pigs. It has long been known that pigs get Norovirus, but no suggestion that we have seen of a connection.

Human Norovirus (often called Norwalk in the USA) seems to have been getting steadily worse. Britain is certainly a hotspot, but the problems are worldwide. In Britain, they are often seen in hospital ward closures, with all the distress entailed in that, Scotland for example having 2000 ward-day closures in one year.

Norovirus on board cruise vessels is wrecking the industry and destroying thousands of holidays every year.
See article here

The British oyster industry recently had Norovirus in 76 percent of its catch.

But I drew a blank, few were interested, probably because no solution was in sight, even if I was right.

For a business or a hospital, making a fuss about Norovirus was all downside: "don't panic" at its most understandable, damaging and complacent.

Anyway, things have suddenly changed. A very senior veterinarian, not British has suddenly mused on the possibility of humans being infected from pigs, more as a throw away line when dealing with other species.

A day or so apart, the Chinese published. Some strains of Porcine Norovirus are virtually indistinguishable from Human Norovirus, and fascinatingly it has appeared as a co-infection to the very sinister Porcine Circovirus.

You can't solve a problem until someone publicly admits it exists. In this PR obsessed world, the taxpayer or customer has to find out and to insist that something is done, usually by pestering the politician or taking their business elsewhere.

For Chinese research see here

Porcine Norovirus identified from piglet with diarrhea

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Staphylococcus aureus in Pigs and Farmers - Senegal

Senegal seems to have done more research than Britain on Staphylococcus aureus in pigs and farmers. They are certainly publishing what they know. We imagine that their veterinarians have less to hide.

Epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus in Pigs and Farmers in the Largest Farm in Dakar, Senegal

To cite this article:
Cheikh Fall, Abdoulaye Seck, Vincent Richard, Moustapha Ndour, Mbacke Sembene, Frederic Laurent, and Sebastien Breurec. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2012.1197.
Online Ahead of Print: September 6, 2012
Full abstract and access to PDF and links here

Author information

Cheikh Fall,1 Abdoulaye Seck,1 Vincent Richard,1 Moustapha Ndour,2 Mbacke Sembene,3 Frederic Laurent,4 and Sebastien Breurec1
1Unit of Medical Biology and Environment, Institut Pasteur, Dakar, Senegal.
2Department of Breeding, Ministry of Breeding, Dakar, Senegal.
3Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal.
4National Reference Center for Staphylococci, University of Lyon, Lyon, France.


Between December 2009 and November 2011, we collected 57 (12.3%) Staphylococcus aureus isolates from 464 pigs and 16 (30.8%) isolates from 52 farmers in the largest farm in Dakar. Fifty-one isolates (70%) belonged to four major multilocus sequence typing clonal complexes (CCs): CC152 (26.0%), CC15 (19.2%), CC5 (13.7%), and CC97 (10.9%). The CC variability among the pigs was similar to that observed among the farmers. Six isolates that were recovered only among pigs were resistant to methicillin (10.5%). They were assigned to the ST5-staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type (SCCmec) IV (n=5) and ST88-SCCmec IV (n=1) clones. Theluk-PV genes encoding Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), present in 43 (58.9%) isolates overall, including all major CCs and the MRSA ST5-SCCmec IV clone, were highly prevalent compared to data from industrialized countries. This finding is of major concern with regard to the potential virulence of these strains.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus acquired by pig farmers from pigs

This Swiss research confirms the dangers to farmers (and veterinarians) from Pig MRSA,

The quite extraordinary absence of multidrug resistant MRSA st398 et al from Britain’s pigs, pig farmers and veterinarians would be one of the wonders of the world, if it was true.

Abstract here

Published ahead of print 7 September 2012, doi: 10.1128/​AEM.01902-12

Antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus acquired by pig farmers from pigs

1.       Anne Oppliger1, 
2.       Philippe Moreillon2, 
3.       Nicole Charrière1,
4.       Marlyse Giddey2, 
5.       Delphine Morisset2 and 
6.       Olga Sakwinska2,*
+Author Affiliations
1.       1Institut universitaire romand de Santé au Travail (Institute for Work and Health), University of Lausanne and Geneva, rue du Bugnon 21, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
2.       2Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Biophore, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland


Carriage of animal-associated MRSA CC398 is common among pig farmers. This study was conducted to investigate: 1) whether pig farmers are colonized with pig-specific S. aureus genotypes different than CC398, and 2) survey antimicrobial resistance of S. aureus isolates from pigs and pig farmers. Forty-eight S. aureus isolates from pig farmers and veterinarians and 130 isolates from pigs collected in Western Switzerland were genotyped by spa-typing and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Antimicrobial resistance profiles were determined for representative sample of the isolates. Obtained earlier data on healthy S. aureus carriers without exposure to agriculture were used for comparison. The genotype composition of S. aureus isolates from pig farmers and veterinarians was similar to isolates from pigs with predominant AFLP Clusters CC398, CC9 and CC49. The resistance to tetracycline and macrolides (clarithromycin) was common among the isolates from farmers and veterinarians (52% and 21%, respectively), and similar to resistance levels in isolates from pigs (39% and 23%, respectively). This was in contrast to isolates from persons without contact with agriculture, where no (0/128) isolates were resistant to tetracycline and 3% of isolates were resistant to clarithromycin. MRSA CC398 was isolated from pigs (n=11) and pig farmers (n=5). These data imply that zoonotic transmission of multidrug resistant S. aureus from pigs to farmers is frequent, and well-known MRSA transmission merely represents a tip of an iceberg of this phenomenon. We speculate that relatively low frequency of MRSA isolation is related to lower antimicrobial use in Switzerland compared to e.g. the Netherlands.