MRSA in livestock animals-an epidemic waiting to happen?

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 Jun;14(6):519-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2008.01970.x. Epub 2008 Mar 4.


Screening of pig farmers and pigs in The Netherlands has revealed that >20% of pig farmers and 39% of slaughterhouse pigs are positive for an unusual strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) belonging to sequence type (ST) 398. It is now clear that the emergence of ST398 is not just a Dutch problem, with human infections being described in several European countries, Canada and Singapore. Furthermore, some human isolates have now acquired the genes encoding Panton-Valentine leukocidin. Livestock may become an important source of community-acquired MRSA. A concerted effort on the part of clinicians, infection control practitioners and veterinarians will be required to prevent further spread of this novel strain of MRSA.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / microbiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / prevention & control
  • Community-Acquired Infections / veterinary
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary*
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcal Infections / veterinary
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology