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By Aureus St, Olivier Denis, Carl Suetens, Marie Hallin, Boudewijn Catry, Ilse Ramboer, Marc Dispas, Glenda Willems, Bart Gordts, Patrick Butaye and Marc J. Struelens


We assessed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in persons on 49 swine farms in Belgium. Surveys showed that 48 (37.8%) persons carried MRSA ST398 and 1 (0.8%) had concurrent skin infection. Risk factors for carriage were MRSA carriage by pigs, regular contact with pigs and companion animals, and use of protective clothing. Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage has been high (>10%) among swine and exposed farmers and veterinarians (1,2). These MRSA strains are genetically unrelated to hospital- or community-acquired clones. They are resistant to digestion with SmaI and belong to ST398 (1). We assessed prevalence and characteristics of MRSA carriage and infection and associated risk factors for swine farm residents and workers in Belgium during 2007. The Study We randomly selected 50 farms from the 7,500 farms in the pig farm national database of the Belgian Federal Agency for Food Safety. Sample size was based on an estimated 20 % prevalence of MRSA colonization among farm workers and residents (1). The sample size was calculated to test the null hypothesis of prevalence <10 % with a power of 80%. Participation was offered to all persons on the farm at the time of the visit, including farmers, co-workers, and household members. After giving written consent, participants were screened for MRSA carriage and interviewed

Year: 2013
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