Most MSRA-ST398 carriers had direct or indirect contact with pig farms.
An emerging MRSA clone that has mostly been linked to contact with pig farms was isolated in several nursing home residents in Spain, underscoring their role as a potential reservoir, according to researchers.
The clone, known as MRSA-ST398, has been spreading in many countries, particularly those with a high density of pig farming, Esteban Reynaga, MD, of the department of internal medicine at Vic University Hospital and the department of medicine at Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues reported in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Recent evidence suggests that nearly 60% of pig farm workers in Osona county, which has one of the largest pig populations in Spain, are carriers of MRSA-ST398. In 2015, approximately 45% of hospitalized patients with MRSA in Osona had the ST398 lineage.
“These data suggest that the MSRA-ST398 clone plays a significant role both in colonization and in infections in the population of the Osona region,” Reynaga and colleagues wrote.
Because nursing home residents are known to be an important reservoir for MRSA, the researchers conducted a prospective study from January to July 2015 to determine the prevalence of MRSA-ST398 in this population in the Osona region. They administered questionnaires in six nursing home facilities located in both urban and rural areas to assess epidemiological information of each resident.
Of the 204 residents included in the analysis, 15.7% had MRSA colonization. Among these patients with MRSA, 15.6% carried the MRSA-ST398 strain. Four of five MRSA-ST398 carriers had direct contact with pig farms or indirect contact with pig farms through relatives.
“This finding suggests that acquisition of MRSA-ST398 could be from relatives and not the nursing home itself,” the researchers wrote. “Although the current prevalence of MRSA-ST398 in our study is moderate compared to other MRSA lineages, the characteristics of the region (with a high density of pigs) suggest that MRSA-ST398 might have greater prevalence in the future. Consequently, surveillance should be maintained to track the development of MRSA-ST398.” – by Stephanie Viguers
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.