Livestock density as risk factor for livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the Netherlands

Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Nov;18(11):1841-9. doi: 10.3201/eid1811.111850.


To determine whether persons living in areas of high animal density are at increased risk for carrying livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA), we used an existing dataset of persons in the Netherlands with LA-MRSA carriage and controls who carried other types of MRSA. Results of running univariate and multivariate logistic regression models indicated that living in livestock-dense areas increases the odds of nasal carriage of LA-MRSA. We found that doubling pig, cattle, and veal calf densities per municipality increased the odds of LA-MRSA carriage over carriage of other types of MRSA by 24.7% (95% CI 0.9%-54.2%), 76.9% (95% CI 11.3%-81.3%), and 24.1% (95% CI 5.5%-45.9%), respectively, after adjusting for direct animal contact, living in a rural area, and the probable source of MRSA carriage. Controlling the spread of LA-MRSA thus requires giving attention to community members in animal-dense regions who are unaffiliated with livestock farming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier State / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Humans
  • Livestock / microbiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Population Density
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*