Livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus: origin, evolution and public health threat

Trends Microbiol. 2012 Apr;20(4):192-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Mar 1.


Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen responsible for severe nosocomial and community-associated infections of humans and infections of economically important livestock species. In recent years, studies into livestock-associated S. aureus including methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains have provided new information regarding their origin and host adaptation, and their capacity to cause zoonotic infections of humans. Furthermore, a potential role for human activities such as domestication and industrialisation in the emergence of S. aureus clones affecting livestock has been highlighted. Here, I summarise recent developments in this emerging field and suggest questions of importance for future research efforts.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Humans
  • Livestock*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / classification
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Typing
  • Public Health
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / veterinary*
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses / microbiology*
  • Zoonoses / transmission*