Livestock associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) is a known and prevalent bacterium related to livestock farming. Little is known about the dynamics of carriage over time in pig farm workers. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, determinants and dynamics of human carriage of LA-MRSA in pig farms. In this prospective cohort study in 50 pig farms in The Netherlands,  human nasal samples were collected on 6 time points in 12 months from pig farmers and their employees. Persistent carriers were defined as persons with 100% of nasal samples positive for MRSA, non-carriers had no MRSA and intermittent carriers had at least one positive sample. Preliminary multilevel multivariate regression analysis was performed in SAS.

In total, 130 pig farmers and employees entered the study (101 males, 78%). Eighty of them (62%) were MRSA nasal carriers at the start of the study and 49 (38%) were persistent carriers. Multivariate multilevel regression analysis showed that working in the stables for ≥50 hours per week, no recent hospital admission and high amounts of cfu of MRSA nasally were significantly associated with persistent carriage. In conclusion, persistent MRSA carriage is very prevalent among persons working with pigs on a daily base. Persistent carriers had significantly more cfu MRSA nasally, which gives the impression that real persistent carriage is more likely here than repeated contamination.

MRSA in pig farm workers: colonization or contamination?

Brigitte van Cleef1,2, Birgit van Benthem2, Renée Teuwen3, Jan Kluytmans1,3
1VU University Medical Centre, MMI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, CIb, Bilthoven, The Netherlands, 3Amphia Hospital, LMI, Breda, The Netherlands

Poster presentatie ICPIC 2011, Geneva, Switserland

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