Researchers Examine Impact of Livestock-Associated MRSA in a Hospital Setting

The Netherlands is known for a stringent search-and-destroy policy to prevent spread of methiocillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In the hospital setting, livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) is frequently found in patients coming from the high density farming area in the south of the Netherlands. The aim of the study by van de Sande-Bruinsma, et al. (2015) was to determine the contribution of LA-MRSA in the epidemiology of MRSA in cases found following the Dutch search and destroy policy. Patients and methods From two hospitals serving a population of 550,000 persons all data on MRSA cultures and subsequent control measures from 2008 and 2009 were retrospectively collected and analyzed.

A total of 3856 potential index patients were screened for MRSA, 373 (9.7 percent) were found to be positive, 292 (78 percent) LA-MRSA and 81 (22 percen) non-LA-MRSA respectively. No secondary cases were found among contact research in persons exposed to LA-MRSA (0/416), whereas similar contact research for non-LA-MRSA resulted in 83 (2.5 percen) secondary cases. LA-MRSA were rarely found to cause infections.

The researchers concluded that LA-MRSA is more prevalent than non-LA-MRSA in Dutch Hospitals in the South of the Netherlands. However, retrospectively studied cases show that the transmission rate for LA-MRSA was much lower than for non-LA-MRSA. This suggest that infection control practices for LA-MRSA may possibly be less stringent than for non-LA-MRSA. Their research was published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

Reference: van de Sande-Bruinsma N, Leverstein van Hall MA, Janssen M, Nagtzaam N, Leenders S, de Greeff SC and Schneeberger PM. Impact of livestock-associated MRSA in a hospital setting. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2015, 4:11  doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0053-8