Prevalence and risk factor analysis of livestock associated MRSA-positive pig herds in The Netherlands

E M Broens, E A M Graat, P J Van der Wolf, A W Van de Giessen, M C M De Jong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    In 2005, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was found in pig herds and in humans in contact with pigs. To determine the prevalence of, this now-called livestock-associated (LA) MRSA among pig herds in The Netherlands and to identify and quantify risk factors, an observational study of 202 pig herds was performed between 2007 and 2008. Five environmental wipes and 60 nasal swabs from each herd were collected, and microbiological analysis was performed on single environmental samples and pooled nasal samples. A herd was considered MRSA-positive if ≥1 sample tested positive. The prevalence of MRSA-positive herds was 67% in breeding herds and 71% in finishing herds. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was then performed on data from 171 breeding herds. The number of MRSA-positive herds increased from ∼30% at the start to ∼75% at the end of the study, most likely due to transmission between herds. The prevalence of MRSA increased with herd size, as ∼40% of smaller herds (<250 sows) were MRSA-positive compared to >80% of larger herds (>500 sows). Other risk factors (e.g. antimicrobial use, purchase of gilts and hygiene measures) were not significantly associated with MRSA, though associated with herd size. Herd size appeared to be a compilation of several factors, which made larger herds more often MRSA positive.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Animals
    • Anti-Bacterial Agents
    • Bacterial Typing Techniques
    • Environmental Microbiology
    • Female
    • Methicillin
    • Methicillin Resistance
    • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
    • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
    • Netherlands
    • Nose
    • Prevalence
    • Risk Factors
    • Staphylococcal Infections
    • Sus scrofa
    • Swine
    • Swine Diseases


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