Friday, 21 March 2014

Norway tackles MRSA in pigs and pig people

Big news on The Pig Site this morning here.

New Survey of MRSA in Norwegian Pigs to Begin

21 March 2014
NORWAY - The Food Safety Authority is to begin another survey of the prevalence of MRSA in pigs herds across the country...

The original Norwegian Government source is here.

You can see that they also think measures have to be taken to protect anyone handling pigs: something that does not happen in Britain, apparently because Britain's veterinary establishment still claim Britain's pigs are clear of MRSA.

Mapping of MRSA resumes
 Published 03/19/2014 | Last modified 20/03/2014

FSA restarts survey of animal associated MRSA, or LA-MRSA in Norwegian pig herds. Sampling starts next week.

Fact about MRSA
" MRSA is Staphylococcus aureus that has developed resistance to multiple antibiotics. They are small MRSA in Norway
" Meat from animals with MRSA is not dangerous to eat
" An animal associated variant of MRSA, called LA-MRSA has been found in several herds that have had contact through the sale of piglets. LA-MRSA is not particularly pathogenic in pigs, but it can infect from pig to man and from man to pig
" MRSA can be transmitted from pigs to humans, but rarely give serious infections in healthy people
" It is important to prevent MRSA spread to health care institutions, as MRSA can affect people who are already ill or have weakened health. These can then be exposed to bacteria which can not be combatted with antibiotics
" The use of antibiotics to livestock in Norway is very low compared to other countries, and there is reason to believe that antibiotic resistance among Norwegian domestic animals is less than in other countries
" Health authorities are concerned that LA-MRSA among pigs will spread. If it happens it will be necessary to dictate in advance of hospitalization for all who are in regular contact with animals
" These individuals must be screened for MRSA before they can be processed. If they are infected must be implemented to prevent the spread within the hospital

After a week stop to discuss basic issues related to the progress and economy, it is now clear that the NFSA planned survey of LA-MRSA in Norwegian pig herds will be conducted in the same scope as planned, with sampling of the 1150 swine herds.

FSA has made an overall assessment of the case and has decided to conduct the survey now, and to assess the economic impact parallel. What measures, if any, should be taken will be decided later.

Mapping first - then measures

FSA plans to resume the survey next week.

- It is important to get the facts about the situation in Norwegian pig herds on the table, says Ole Fjetland, assistant director of supervision at the FSA.

- We do this best by allowing us to quickly collect and analyze samples from all herds.As we know, we can determine the future strategy for how to combat or control the occurrence of LA MRSA, and what measures will be relevant.

Important public health
For reasons of public health, it is important to reduce the incidence of MRSA in the community. The economic impact of possible control measures now being studied in parallel with the mapping.
The Authority has the ambition to keep the Norwegian swine industry free of such bacteria, and Karleggingen will provide FSA one good basis for assessing whether this is a realistic goal.