Skip to comments.MRSA: Farming up trouble
Posted on 07/25/2013 5:29:17 PM PDT by neverdem
Microbiologists are trying to work out whether use of antibiotics on farms is fuelling the human epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria.
The sight of just one boot coming through the doorway cues the clatter of tiny hoofs as 500 piglets scramble away from Mike Male. That's the sound of healthy pigs, shouts Male, a veterinarian who has been working on pig farms for more than 30 years. On a hot June afternoon, he walks down the central aisle of a nursery in eastern Iowa, scoops up a piglet and dangles her by her hind legs. A newborn piglet's navel is an easy entry point for bacterial infections, he explains. If this pig were infected, she would have an abscess, a lump of inflamed tissue, just below the navel. In human terms, she'd be an outie instead of an innie, he says, rubbing the pig's healthy, pink belly button.
Nearly six years ago, an outbreak of 'outies' at this nursery marked the first known infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pigs in the United States. MRSA has troubled hospitals around the world for more than four decades and has been infecting people outside of health-care settings since at least 1995 (see Nature 482, 2325; 2012). It causes around 94,000 infections and 18,000 deaths annually in the United States. In the European Union, more than 150,000 people are estimated to contract MRSA each year. Its first appearance on a US farm signalled the expansion of what many believe is a dangerous source of human infection.
Male investigated the infections with Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who has since launched one of the most comprehensive investigations yet of where MRSA lives and how it spreads into and out of agricultural settings. She has surveyed farms and...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Piglets can be terribly cute, and have about the same level of intelligence as chimpanzees. It gets noticeable when they are raised around puppies, because they can often out think them and actually teach some skills to the puppies.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.
They'll also be glad to eat you when they get older if you happen to wind up off your feet in their enclosure.
Grew up on a small farm, raised hogs, and myriad other animals. Pigs are very smart. Never supplemented with anti-bs, but it was very common with cattle, etc., on big farms. The use of anti-b’s in so many things even apart from food, such as soaps, just has to be a factor.
They will try eat you as piglets! Chickens are just as bad, although not threatening for the “normal” farmer. City slickers don’t have a clue.
Please add me to the mailing list.
BTW, my gigantic Maine Coon says Hi and sends you a head butt.
Nearly six years ago, an outbreak of 'outies' at this nursery marked the first known infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pigs in the United States. MRSA has troubled hospitals around the world for more than four decades and has been infecting people outside of health-care settings since at least 1995...IOW, pigs must be banned -- creeping islamofascism ping.