Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to Human Volunteers Visiting a Swine Farm.
ABSTRACT: Transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from animals to humans is of great concern due to the implications for human health and the health care system. The objective was to investigate the frequency and duration of MRSA carriage in human volunteers after a short-term exposure in a swine farm. The experimental study included 34 human volunteers staying 1 h in a MRSA-positive swine farm in four trials. In two of the trials, the influence of farm work involving pig contact was studied using a crossover design. The quantities of MRSA in nasal swabs, throat swabs, and air samples were measured at different time points and analyzed in relation to relevant covariates. This investigation showed that, overall, 94% of the volunteers acquired MRSA during the farm visit. Two hours after the volunteers left the stable, the nasal MRSA count had declined to unquantifiable levels in 95% of the samples. After 48 h, 94% of the volunteers were MRSA-negative. Nasal MRSA carriage was positively correlated to personal exposure to airborne MRSA and farm work involving pig contact and negatively correlated to smoking. No association was observed between MRSA carriage and face touching behavior, nasal methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) carriage, age, or gender. The increase in human MRSA carriage among the volunteers with pig contact seems to be dependent on the increased concentration of airborne MRSA of the surrounding air and not directly on physical contact with pigs. MRSA was not detected in any of the throat samples.IMPORTANCE The experimental approach made it possible to elucidate the contributions of airborne MRSA levels and farm work to nasal MRSA carriage in a swine farm. Short-term exposure to airborne MRSA poses a substantial risk for farm visitors to become nasal carriers, but the carriage is typically cleared within hours to a few days. The risk for short-term visitors to cause secondary transmissions of MRSA is most likely negligible due to the observed decline to unquantifiable levels in 95% of the nasal samples after only 2 h. The MRSA load in the nose was highly correlated to the amount of MRSA in the air and interventions to reduce the level of airborne MRSA or the use of face masks might consequently reduce nasal contamination.
Project description:The occurrence of livestock-associated (LA) MRSA (ST398) in pig herds has emerged as a threat to occupational safety in many parts of the world. Recently, an outbreak of skin lesions due to MRSA occurred in workers at a pig farm in regional Australia and both the humans and pigs were shown to have a high prevalence of carriage of either the human-strain ST93 or porcine strain ST398. This study closely scrutinises this outbreak to determine factors associated with MRSA carriage amongst the workers.Information on potential risk factors was collected from employees by means of a questionnaire. The carriage status of MRSA by workers was assessed by nasal swabs processed using standard laboratory techniques with confirmed isolates subjected to sequence typing. Associations between MRSA carriage in workers and their questionnaire responses were investigated using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.Nasal carriage of MRSA was identified in 60% (31/52) of participants. Workers having contact with pigs had 24 times the odds of MRSA carriage compared to workers with no direct contact (OR 23.6; CI 5.2-172.8). In addition, the probability of MRSA carriage in workers was significantly (P < 0.001) associated with the number of hours in contact with pigs and each hour of contact-time per day increased the risk of MRSA carriage by 1.44 times (CI 1.14-1.96). These associations were significant (P < 0.001) for both strains, ST398 and ST93, present on this farm. Using a multivariable logistic regression model that incorporated human exposure to five different pig age groups (dry sows, farrowing, weaner, grower, and finisher) as fixed effects, a significant (P = 0.027) increased odds of MRSA carriage was found for persons working with farrowing sows compared with those who did not (OR 6.39, CI 1.23-39.36).This study shows that workers in close contact with pigs on a pig farm where MRSA is present had a higher risk of MRSA carriage as the number of hours of direct contact with pigs increased. Since we have detected a significant association for the human-derived CA-MRSA ST93, similar to the pig-adapted LA-MRSA ST398, we consider ST93 as a potential occupational risk for piggery workers. The risk of MRSA carriage is greatest when working with the farrowing group; therefore, an emphasis is required on personal protective equipment while working in the farrowing house. The study has ramifications for the conduct of surveillance for MRSA in people exposed to pigs.
Project description:The aim of the investigation was to determine the protective effect of wearing dust masks to prevent Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination during a short-term visit in a MRSA-positive swine farm. A total of 118 human volunteers were randomly allocated to a group wearing masks and to the control group. On average, 9% of the participants wearing masks were MRSA-positive when leaving the farm compared to 62% of the participants not wearing masks. At day 1, 2, and 7 after the farm visit, none of those wearing masks were MRSA-positive. An odds ratio of 18.9 (CI: 6.4-56.2) for being MRSA-positive was found for those not wearing masks compared to those wearing masks when including the farm as random effect. None of the covariates (gender, age, and smoking) influenced the OR for being MRSA-positive when leaving the farm. This study shows that the use of dust masks gives a significant protection against nasal MRSA contamination after a short-term visit to a swine farm. In addition, 106 volunteers not wearing masks were investigated in order to provide an estimate of a contamination dose of airborne MRSA. Due to the high variation in the MRSA measurements, it was not possible to establish a stable estimate for this. Out of the 106 volunteers not wearing masks, 6, 7, and 3% tested MRSA-positive 1, 2, and 7 days after the farm visit, respectively.
Project description:Background:Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) belonging to clonal complex 398 is recognized as an occupational hazard for workers employed in intensive animal husbandry, especially in the swine-breeding chain. In this study, we compared the prevalence and epidemiological type of MRSA isolates from swine and farm workers in a large area of southern Italy. Methods:Between January and March 2018, 88 workers from 32 farms where we had previously performed a survey for MRSA colonization of farmed pigs, were sampled by nasal swabbing. A follow-up investigation was conducted on seven workers 1 year after primary screening. MRSA isolates were characterized by MLST, spa and SCCmec typing, and tested for susceptibility to 15 antimicrobials. Epidemiological correlations between human and swine MRSA isolates were supported by Rep-MP3 and RAPD PCR fingerprinting, and whole-genome sequencing. Results:The overall colonization rate of MRSA in swine farm workers was 21.6%, being significantly higher in intensive farms and in workers with direct animal contact. All human MRSA isolates were multi-drug resistant, belonged to the ST398 livestock clade, and did not carry Panton-Valentine leukocidin and enterotoxin genes. Notably, 94.1% of human MRSA isolates belonged to the same epidemiological type as swine MRSA isolates from the corresponding farm. Persistent MRSA carriage was documented in some workers 1 year after primary sampling. Conclusions:We report a high prevalence of MRSA among swine farm workers, with higher colonization rates associated with intensive breeding and animal exposure. Our findings suggest unidirectional animal-to-human transmission of LA-MRSA and denote the high zoonotic transmissibility of the ST398 livestock clade.
Project description:Since its emergence in the early 2000s, livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex 398 (LA-MRSA CC398) has led to an increasing number of human infections in Denmark and other European countries with industrial pig production. LA-MRSA CC398 is primarily associated with skin infections among pig farm workers but is also increasingly recognized as a cause of life-threatening disease among elderly and immunocompromised people. Pig farm workers may serve as vehicles for the spread of LA-MRSA CC398 and other farm-origin bacteria between farms and into the general population. Yet, little is known about the bacterial community dynamics in pig farm workers and other persons with long- and short-term exposure to the pig farm environment. To gain insight into this, we investigated the nasal microbiomes in pig farm workers during a workweek on four LA-MRSA CC398-positive pig farms, as well as in short-term visitors two hours before, immediately after, and 48 hours after a 1-hour visit to another LA-MRSA CC398-positive pig farm. S. aureus and LA-MRSA CC398 carriage was quantified by means of culture, and the composition of the bacterial communities was investigated through sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Pig farm workers often carried LA-MRSA CC398 and other bacteria from the pig farm environment, both at work and at home, although at lower levels at home. In contrast, short-term visitors were subject to a less dramatic and rapidly reversible change in the nasal bacterial community composition. These results suggest that pig farm workers may be an important source of LA-MRSA CC398 and perhaps other pathogens of human and veterinary relevance.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) harboring the type-IX staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) has been found in pigs and humans in Northern Thailand. However, knowledge of the prevalence and acquisition risk factors of this MRSA strain among swine production personnel (SPP) are needed. The nasal swab samples and data were collected from 202 voluntary SPP and 31 swine farms in Chiang Mai and Lamphun Provinces, Thailand in 2017. MRSA were screened and identified using mannitol salt agar, biochemical and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, multiplex PCR, and the SCCmec typing. The prevalence of MRSA was 7.9% (16/202) and 19.3% (6/31) among SPP and swine farms. All isolates were multidrug-resistant, and 55 of 59 isolates (93%) contained the type-IX SCCmec element. Data analysis indicated that education, working time, contact frequency, working solely with swine production, and personal hygiene were significantly related to MRSA acquisition (p < 0.05). The multivariate analysis revealed that pig farming experience, working days, and showering were good predictors for MRSA carriage among SPP (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.84). The biosecurity protocols and tetracycline use were significantly associated with MRSA detection in pig farms (p < 0.05). Hence, the active surveillance of MRSA and further development of local/national intervention for MRSA control are essential.
Project description:Distinct strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been identified on livestock and livestock workers. Industrial food animal production may be an important environmental reservoir for human carriage of these pathogenic bacteria. The objective of this study was to investigate environmental and occupational exposures associated with nasal carriage of MRSA in patients hospitalized at Vidant Medical Center, a tertiary hospital serving a region with intensive livestock production in eastern North Carolina.MRSA nasal carriage was identified via nasal swabs collected within 24 hours of hospital admission. MRSA carriers (cases) were gender and age matched to non-carriers (controls). Participants were interviewed about recent environmental and occupational exposures. Home addresses were geocoded and publicly available data were used to estimate the density of swine in residential census block groups of residence. Conditional logistic regression models were used to derive odds ratio (OR) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Presence of the scn gene in MRSA isolates was assessed. In addition, multi locus sequence typing (MLST) of the MRSA isolates was performed, and the Diversilab® system was used to match the isolates to USA pulsed field gel electrophoresis types.From July - December 2011, 117 cases and 119 controls were enrolled. A higher proportion of controls than cases were current workforce members (41.2% vs. 31.6%) Cases had a higher odds of living in census block groups with medium densities of swine (OR: 4.76, 95% CI: 1.36-16.69) and of reporting the ability to smell odor from a farm with animals when they were home (OR: 1.51, 95% CI: 0.80-2.86). Of 49 culture positive MRSA isolates, all were scn positive. Twenty-two isolates belonged to clonal complex 5.Absence of livestock workers in this study precluded evaluation of occupational exposures. Higher odds of MRSA in medium swine density areas could reflect environmental exposure to swine or poultry.
Project description:Previous research on Staphylococcus aureus in pigs focused on livestock-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and had a qualitative cross-sectional design. This study aimed to elucidate the frequency, load, and stability of S. aureus nasal carriage in pigs over time and investigated possible associations between carriage and immune response. Nasal swabs were collected three times weekly from 480 tagged adult pigs in 20 Danish production farms. S. aureus and MRSA were quantified on selective media by the most-probable-number method. The levels of IgG against 10 S. aureus antigens in serum were quantified in selected pigs by a Luminex assay. All the farms were positive for S. aureus and 15 for MRSA, leading to overall prevalences of persistent and intermittent carriers and noncarriers of 24, 52, and 23%, respectively. Carriage frequency and nasal loads were significantly higher on MRSA-positive farms. Logistic-regression modeling revealed the presence of individual pigs characterized by high nasal loads (>10,000 CFU per swab) and stable carriage regardless of farm- and pen-associated factors. On the other hand, the humoral response was strongly influenced by these environmental factors. The existence of a minority of shedders contributing to maintenance of S. aureus within farms opens up new perspectives on the control of MRSA in pig farming.
Project description:We determined the prevalence and genetic characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from pigs and humans between September 2013 and February 2015 in Kogi State, a central region in Nigeria. A total of 680 nasal swabs were collected and analyzed from pigs (n = 425) and "pig-contact" humans (n = 55) on 35 farms, and "non-pig-contact" humans (n = 200). MRSA was recovered from 20 (4.7%) pigs on 12 farms and 18 (7.0%) humans. Six (2.4%) of the human isolates were recovered from "pig-contact" humans, of which only three work on farms also harboring MRSA positive pigs. All 38 MRSA were resistant to ?-lactams only, belonged to spa type t1603, sequence type (ST) 88, and mecA was associated with a SCCmec IVa element. Four isolates from a pig, a pig-contact human from the same farm, a pig-contact human from a pig farm in a different district, and a non-pig-contact human were subjected to whole genome sequencing (WGS). Core genome SNP analysis revealed high genetic similarity between strains (3-11 SNP differences), despite the temporal (2 year gap) and geographic (165 km) differences between isolates. Furthermore, these Nigerian isolates form a distinct clade when compared to other African MRSA ST88 isolates. All but one porcine strain was positive for scn suggesting a possible human origin and that pigs were either transiently contaminated by humans or result of a very recent human-to-pig transmission event. To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetically confirmed MRSA in pigs in Nigeria, which appear to be a typical CA-MRSA clone present in the human population.
Project description:This study aimed to explore the association of livestock-associated S. aureus with occupational pig contact and pet contact. In this cross-sectional study, 1,422 participants (including 244 pig workers, 200 pet-owning workers and 978 control workers) responded to a questionnaire and provided a nasal swab for S. aureus analysis. Resulting isolates were tested for antibiotic susceptibility, the immune evasion cluster (IEC) genes, and multilocus sequence type. Compared with controls, the pig workers demonstrated a greater prevalence of multidrug-resistant S. aureus (MDRSA) [prevalence ratio (PR) = 3.38; 95% CI: 2.07-5.53] and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (PR = 7.42; 95% CI: 3.71-14.83), but the prevalence of MDRSA and MRSA was similar in pet-owning workers and controls. There was a positive relation of frequency of pig contact with prevalence of MDRSA and MRSA carriage. Only pig workers carried MDRSA CC9 (16 isolates) and MRSA CC9 (16 isolates), and all of these isolates were tetracycline resistant and absent of IEC genes. These findings suggest that livestock-associated MRSA and MDRSA(CC9, IEC-negative, tetracycline-resistant) in humans is associated with occupational pig contact, not pet contact, and support growing concern about antibiotics use in pig farms and raising questions about the potential for occupational exposure to opportunistic S. aureus.
Project description:Prior studies have demonstrated an influence of the built environment on the human nasal microbiota. However, very little is known about the influences of working on a pig farm on the human nasal microbiota. We longitudinally collected samples from 30 pig farms (air and nasal swabs from humans and pigs) in Switzerland from 2014 to 2015. As controls, nasal swabs from cow farmers and individuals with no contact with farm animals were included. An analysis of the microbiota for all samples (n?=?609) was performed based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing (MiSeq) and included the investigations of source-sink dynamics. The numbers of indoor airborne particles and bacterial loads in pig farms were also investigated and were highest in winter. Similarly, the microbiota analyses revealed that the alpha diversity values of the nares of pig farmers were increased in winter in contrast to those of samples from the nonexposed controls, which displayed low alpha diversity values throughout the seasons. Source-sink analyses revealed that bacteria from the noses of pigs are more commonly coidentified within the pig farmers' microbiota in winter but to a less extent in summer. In addition, in winter, there was a stronger intrasimilarity for samples that originated from the same farm than for samples from different farms, and this farm specificity was partially or completely lost in spring, summer, and fall. In conclusion, in contrast to nonexposed controls, a pig farmer's nasal microbiota is dynamic, as the indoor-air microbiota of pig farms drives the composition of the pig farmer's nasal microbiota in a season-dependent manner.IMPORTANCE The airborne microbiota of pig farms poses a potential health hazard and impacts both livestock and humans working in this environment. Therefore, a more thorough understanding of the microbiota composition and dynamics in this setting is needed. This study was of a prospective design (12?months) and used samples from different sites. This means that the microbiota of air, animals (pigs), and humans was simultaneously investigated. Our findings highlight that the potential health hazard might be particularly high in winter compared to that in summer.