Investigation of the human nasal microbiome in persons with long- and short-term exposure to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria from the pig farm environment.
ABSTRACT: 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:The possible spillover from pigs into other production animals incites concern for unresolved reservoirs of human exposure. The present investigation was therefore initiated, to elucidate if Danish veal and dairy farms constitute a reservoir of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) CC398 and to potentially identify the source of introduction. We collected nasal swab samples from 17 Danish veal farms, 2 slaughterhouses, and received bulk tank milk samples from 286 dairy farms. All samples were analyzed by culturing and screening on MRSA selective plates and presumed MRSA was verified by MALDI-TOF and PCR. MRSA isolates were subjected to spa typing and whole-genome sequencing. LA-MRSA was found on two veal farms in one and three calves, respectively, with subsequent follow-up samples found negative. Eight of 286 dairy farms (2.8%) were found LA-MRSA positive and follow-up samples, from five farms showed intermittent detection of LA-MRSA. The spa types, t034 and t011, were the most common while a single isolate from a dairy farm belonged to spa type t843 associated to mecC-MRSA CC130 and is the first report of mecC-MRSA in the Danish dairy production. A phylogenetic analysis showed that some of the isolates grouped within or close to the dominant Danish pig clusters, suggesting spillover into cattle farms. Other isolates clustered outside the dominant pig clusters suggesting that other routes of introduction cannot be excluded. Results of the investigation indicated a contamination of veal farms while some dairy farms seemed to be a permanent reservoir. Thus, Danish cattle represent a low prevalence reservoir of LA-MRSA CC398, which at present, is not of major human health concern.
Project description:Livestock-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus belonging to clonal complex 398 (LA-MRSA CC398) is an important cause of zoonotic infections in many countries. Here, we describe the isolation of LA-MRSA CC398 from retail meat samples of United Kingdom (UK) farm origin. Our findings indicate that this lineage is probably established in UK pig farms and demonstrate a potential pathway for the transmission of LA-MRSA CC398 from livestock to humans in the UK.
Project description:The spread of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex 398 (LA-MRSA CC398) within the Danish pig production system has been linked to an increased number of human infections. Yet, the population structure and transmission dynamics of this important pathogen remain poorly understood. In this study, whole-genome sequences from 371 LA-MRSA CC398 isolates collected between 2004 and 2015 were subjected to bioinformatic analyses. The isolates originated from Danish pig farms (n = 209) and people having livestock contact (n = 79). In addition, whole-genome sequence data from 82 isolates representing an international reference collection and 83 isolates from Danish patients were included in the analysis. The results demonstrated that the increasing prevalence of LA-MRSA CC398 in Danish pigs and patients was caused by clonal expansion of three dominant lineages. The results also showed that these lineages were enriched for the tetracycline resistance gene tet(K) and other determinants conferring resistance to some of the most frequently used antimicrobials in Danish pigs. The association between pig movements and the spread of LA-MRSA CC398 was assessed in a Poisson regression analysis of 17,009 pig movements into 273 farms with known LA-MRSA CC398 status. The results demonstrated that animal movements have played a critical role in the dissemination of LA-MRSA CC398 within the Danish pig production system, although other transmission routes may also have contributed. Consistent with this scenario, the genetic relatedness of isolates from different farms was positively correlated with the number of animal movements between the farms.IMPORTANCE Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex CC398 (LA-MRSA CC398) is resistant to nearly all ?-lactams and several non-?-lactam antimicrobials. Over the last decade, it has become widespread in pig farms across Europe and is now an important cause of human infections in countries with previously low levels of MRSA, such as the Netherlands and Denmark. The hitherto uncontrolled spread of LA-MRSA CC398 underscores an urgent need to understand its epidemiology in order to develop evidence-based interventions. This study demonstrates that pig movements between farms in combination with increased bacterial resistance to specific antibiotics and heavy metals were important drivers of the rapid spread of LA-MRSA CC398 in the Danish pig production system. These findings should be taken into consideration when researchers and policy makers evaluate and decide on actions and policies to limit the spread of LA-MRSA CC398 and other pathogens in food animals.
Project description:In recent years, livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) multi locus sequence type CC398 has spread widely in the livestock production in Europe. The rates of LA-MRSA in hospitals have been found to be largely determined by contact to and density of livestock in the area.This is a cross sectional study of the prevalence of LA-MRSA among hospital staff in a Danish hospital situated in a livestock production region. We analysed nasal swabs, air and dust samples for the presence of MRSA using PCR and mass spectrometry.Of 1745 employees, 545 (31%) contributed nasal swabs. MRSA was not detected in any participant, nor was it detected in air or dust at the hospital or in houses of employees living on farms. Four percent of the participants had contact to pigs either directly or through household members. LA-MRSA was detected in two of 26 samples from animal sheds, both of them from pig farms. The participation rate was relatively low, but participants were representative for the source population with regards to animal contact and job titles.The study suggests a low point prevalence of LA-MRSA carriage in Danish hospital staff even in regions where livestock production is dense. Should more studies confirm our findings we see no need for additional hospital precautions towards LA-MRSA in Denmark at the moment. We think that our data might reduce potential stigmatization of hospital workers with contact to LA-MRSA positive farms at their work places and in their communities.
Project description:Clonal complex (CC) 398 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) are associated with carriage and infection among animals and humans but only a single case of CC398 MRSA has been reported in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). The present study investigated the molecular epidemiology of CC398 MRSA (n = 22) and MSSA (n = 10) from animals and humans in the ROI from 2010-2014. Isolates underwent antimicrobial susceptibility testing, spa typing, DNA microarray profiling and PCR for CC398-associated resistance genes. All MRSA underwent SCCmec IV or V subtyping. Four distinct CC398-MRSA incidents were identified from (i) a man in a nursing home (spa type t011-SCCmec IVa, immune evasion complex (IEC) negative), (ii) a horse and veterinarian who had recently travelled to Belgium (t011-IVa, IEC positive), (iii) pigs (n = 9) and farm workers (n = 9) on two farms, one which had been restocked with German gilts and the other which was a finisher farm (t034-VT, IEC negative, 3/9 pigs; t011-VT, IEC negative, 6/9 pigs & 9/9 farm workers), and (iv) a child who had worked on a pig farm in the UK (t034-VT, IEC negative). Isolates also carried different combinations of multiple resistance genes including erm(A), erm(B), tet(K), tet(M) & tet(L), fexA, spc, dfrG, dfrK aacA-aphD and aadD further highlighting the presence of multiple CC398-MRSA strains. CC398 MSSA were recovered from pigs (n = 8) and humans (n = 2). CC398 MSSA transmission was identified among pigs but zoonotic transmission was not detected with animal and human isolates exhibiting clade-specific traits. This study highlights the importation and zoonotic spread of CC398 MRSA in the ROI and the spread of CC398 MSSA among pigs. Increased surveillance is warranted to prevent further CC398 MRSA importation and spread in a country that was considered CC398 MRSA free.
Project description:Transmission of methicillin-resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> (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 <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> (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.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> 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:?Emerging livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) persist in livestock populations and represent a reservoir for transmission to humans. Understanding the routes of introduction and further transmission is crucial to control this threat to human health.?All reported cases of livestock-associated MRSA (CC398) in humans and pigs in Norway between 2008 and 2014 were included. Data were collected during an extensive outbreak investigation, including contact tracing and stringent surveillance. Whole-genome sequencing of isolates from all human cases and pig farms was performed to support and expand the epidemiological findings. The national strategy furthermore included a "search-and-destroy" policy at the pig farm level.?Three outbreak clusters were identified, including 26 pig farms, 2 slaughterhouses, and 36 humans. Primary introductions likely occurred by human transmission to 3 sow farms with secondary transmission to other pig farms, mainly through animal trade and to a lesser extent via humans or livestock trucks. All MRSA CC398 isolated from humans without an epidemiological link to the outbreaks were genetically distinct from isolates within the outbreak clusters indicating limited dissemination to the general population.?This study identified preventable routes of MRSA CC398 introduction and transmission: human occupational exposure, trade of pigs and livestock transport vehicles. These findings are essential for keeping pig populations MRSA free and, from a "One Health" perspective, preventing pig farms from becoming reservoirs for MRSA transmission to humans.
Project description:Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) of clonal complex (CC) 398 has become a rising issue for public health. While it is known that >80% of pig farmers are colonized with LA-MRSA, only a few studies have assessed the situation for humans with occasional livestock contact. Recently it was shown that over 75% of scientific fieldworkers visiting pigsties were temporarily carrying LA-MRSA. To find out whether they were transiently or permanently colonized, we used whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data to analyze the relatedness of isolates from these recurrently LA-MRSA-positive fieldworkers and from corresponding pigsties. Sequences were analyzed using in silico typing (spa and core genomic multilocus sequence typing [cgMLST]), and the BEAST software package was used to examine phylogeny. In total, 81 samples from three fieldworkers on eight different pigsties over a period of 2.5?years were sequenced. All isolates belonged to spa type t011, t034, or t2011, with different types found in the same fieldworker at different time points. Analysis of cgMLST revealed nine genotypic clusters, mostly correlating with the pigsty on which they were sampled. Fieldworker isolates clustered with the samples from farms that were visited on the same day. BEAST analysis corroborated the cgMLST-based clustering and suggests an origin of the lineage about 22?years ago. We conclude that nasal LA-MRSA colonization among humans with occasional livestock contact is common but most likely only temporary. Furthermore, we showed that the Western German LA-MRSA CC398 originated in the late 1990s and diversified into farm-specific genotypes, which stay relatively consistent over time.
Project description:MRSA CC398 is an emerging MRSA strain found in livestock, mainly in pigs. Direct occupational livestock contact is the principal risk factor for human MRSA CC398 infection. Nonetheless, in recent years, an increasing number of MRSA CC398 cases has been observed in persons without known pig contact. Such cases, referred to as MRSA CC398 of unknown origin (MUO CC398), have, like livestock-onset (LO) MRSA CC398 cases, been found concentrated in rural, livestock-producing areas. The presence of MUO CC398 cases indicates alternative and unknown MRSA CC398 transmission pathways into the community. We performed a nationwide study in Denmark of the geographic distributions of MRSA cases in general and persons with MUO CC398 or LO MRSA CC398 infections (1 January 2006-11 February 2015), with the Danish population as background population. Place of living of study persons was mapped using the ArcGIS software, and information on pig farms was retrieved from the Central Husbandry Register. The incidence of MUO CC398 infections was clearly higher in rural than in urban areas, and such cases lived on average closer to pig farms than the general population. However, within three pig-farming-dense municipalities, patients with MUO CC398 infections did not live closer to pig farms than population controls. This shows that direct environmental spread from neighbouring pig farms of MRSA CC398 is unlikely. Instead, community spread through other means of transmission than direct spread from farms may more likely explain the clustering of MUO CC398 in livestock-dense areas.
Project description:Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus clonal complex 398 (LA-MRSA CC398) is causing an increasing number of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in Denmark and other European countries with industrial pig production. Yet, its impact on MRSA bloodstream infections (BSIs) has not been well studied.We investigated the clinical epidemiology of all human cases of LA-MRSA CC398 BSI during 2010-2015. Cases of LA-MRSA CC398 BSI were compared to cases of BSI caused by other types of MRSA and cases of SSTI caused by LA-MRSA CC398. Whole-genome sequence analysis was used to assess the phylogenetic relationship among LA-MRSA CC398 isolates from Danish pigs and cases of BSI and SSTI.The number of LA-MRSA CC398 BSIs and SSTIs increased over the years, peaking in 2014, where LA-MRSA CC398 accounted for 16% (7/44) and 21% (211/985) of all MRSA BSIs and SSTIs, corresponding to 1.2 and 37.4 cases of BSI and SSTI per 1,000,000 person-years, respectively. Most patients with LA-MRSA CC398 BSI had no contact to livestock, although they tended to live in rural areas. LA-MRSA CC398 caused 24.3 BSIs per 1,000 SSTIs among people with no livestock contact, which is similar to the ratio observed for other types of MRSA. Whole-genome sequence analysis showed that most of the BSI and SSTI isolates were closely related to Danish pig isolates.This study demonstrates that the increasing number of LA-MRSA CC398 BSIs occurred in parallel with a much larger wave of LA-MRSA CC398 SSTIs and an expanding pig reservoir.