Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) impacts public health and recently the MRSA clonal complex ST398 has been reported in pigs and other animals. Several EU member states are carrying out investigations to find out more.
The European Food Safety Authority asked the Task Force on Zoonoses Data Collection to compile a report as to whether it is necessary to survey the occurrence of MRSA in animals.
The Task Force recommends a common survey at European Community level to understand and quantify the spread of MRSA in the EU. In addition, such a survey would help identify whether there is a clonal spread.
The Task Force proposes to combine such a survey to the forth coming Salmonella baseline survey in breeding pigs. Fattening pigs, if present on breeding farms, will be sampled to examines the transfer of MRSA within the holding.
The report is available in The EFSA Journal It describes the technical specifications for the MRSA survey including the sampling techniques and analytical methods.