Livestock-Associated MRSA Found Among MRSA From Humans

November 3, 2017

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) survey results show more frequent detections and geographical dispersion of livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) in humans in the EU/EEA since 2007, and highlight the public health and veterinary importance of LA-MRSA as a 'one health' issue. The ECDC advocates for periodic systematic surveys or integrated multi-sectorial surveillance to facilitate control measures.

Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) poses a zoonotic risk, particularly for those working in close contact with livestock. Nonetheless, surveillance of LA-MRSA in humans in Europe is currently not systematic, but mainly event-based.

In 2014, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) initiated a questionnaire survey to collect data on the numbers of LA-MRSA from human samples at national or regional reference laboratories in EU/EEA countries in 2013. ECDC received responses from 28 reference laboratories from 27 (90%) EU/EEA countries.

Overall, respondents reported receiving MRSA isolates from 14,291 patients in 2013, of which 13,756 (96%) were typed. LA-MRSA was identified by 17 (89%) of 19 countries with MRSA typing data. Overall, the percentage of typed MRSA isolates that were LA-MRSA was 3.9% (535/13,756). Seven countries reported that MRSA typing was not performed, in 2013, in the responding reference laboratory.

This survey documents the increasing detection and geographical dispersion of LA-MRSA in humans in the EU/EEA since 2007. Moreover, 2014 and 2015 reports from the Nordic countries, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK have subsequently indicated an upward trend in the spread of LA-MRSA across Europe. The absence, in 2013, of MRSA typing in national/regional laboratories in seven countries is therefore of concern.

Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control