Livestock veterinarians at high risk of acquiring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398

Epidemiol Infect. 2012 Mar;140(3):383-9. doi: 10.1017/S0950268811002263. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


The prevalence and risk factors associated with livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) carriage was examined in Danish and Belgian veterinarians. The MRSA and LA-MRSA carriage rates were 9·5% (95% CI 5·3-15·6) and 7·5% (95% CI 3·8-13·1) for MRSA and LA-MRSA, respectively, in Belgium and 1·4% (95% CI: 0·17-5·05) in Denmark (all Danish MRSA isolates belonged to the LA-MRSA genotype). All LA-MRSA isolates were resistant to tetracycline and 53·4% (7/13) showed a multi-resistant phenotype. LA-MRSA was significantly associated with veterinarians in contact with livestock (P=0·046). In the multivariable analysis, working with small animals in a veterinary clinic seems to be negatively associated (OR 0·15, 95% CI 0-1·0, P=0·05) and a strong direct association was found for LA-MRSA acquisition and exposure to live pigs (OR 12·1, 95% CI 1·6-548·5, P=0·01). Since carriage of MRSA ST398 may increase the risk of complications during hospitalization, our results underline that preventive measures may need to be developed for veterinary professionals, particularly for livestock veterinarians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Belgium
  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / microbiology*
  • Denmark
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Genotype
  • Livestock
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / classification*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Molecular Typing*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Swine
  • Veterinarians*