MRSA found in US pigs
University of Iowa scientists have conducted the first test
of US swine for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacterium responsible for more than 18,000
Of the 200 pigs the team tested, 70 percent carried a
strain of MRSA, ST398, a strain that is known to affect humans.
The scientists found that almost half of 20 workers on
local pig farms carried the same strain of MRSA, suggesting a route to the wider
community. So far no one has tested MRSA patients in US hospitals to identify
whether they carry the same strain.
The federal government is testing
meat, but not livestock, for MRSA. In the United Kingdom, at least three people
are known to have contracted the ST398 strain, and experts are speculating that
contraction is by handling or eating meat.
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