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Ambitious control strategy of LA-MRSA in Norway

Ambitious control strategy of LA-MRSA in Norway

Photo: Hanne Mari Jordsmyr,
The Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

The emergence of livestock associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (LA-MRSA) aureus has in many parts of Europe and the world made farm animals a reservoir for transmission to other farms and humans. When LA-MRSA recently emerged in the Norwegian pig population, this prompted a coordinated national strategy aimed at preventing the pig population becoming a persistent domestic LA-MRSA reservoir with risk of further dissemination to the human population.

The ambitious Norwegian “One Health" approach to control LA-MRSA has not been attempted elsewhere and the finding on introductions and transmission are now presented in a scientific article recently published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. In this study, all cases of the predominant LA-MRSA type in Europe (MRSA CC398) in humans and pig farms between 2008 and 2014 were studied. The article has co-authors from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Norwegian Reference Laboratory for MRSA at St. Olavs Hospital, Statens Serum Institut in Denmark and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

In the study period, the human workforce was found to be the main mode of introductions to a near-closed Norwegian pig population. This is a novel finding of a risk factor that needs to be controlled. A “search and destroy” policy towards LA-MRSA in pig farms was implemented in close cooperation between authorities and the pig production sector. The comprehensive control strategy restricted further transmission and no spillover to the general population was observed.

MRSA CC398 in humans and pigs in Norway: A "One Health" perspective on introduction and transmission
Carl Andreas Grøntvedt; Petter Elstrøm; Marc Stegger; Robert Leo Skov; Paal Skytt Andersen; Kjersti Wik Larssen; Anne Margrete Urdahl; Øystein Angen; Jesper Larsen; Solfrid Åmdal; Siri Margrete Løtvedt; Marianne Sunde; Jørgen Vildershøj Bjørnholt
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2016;
doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw552