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Microbial resistance in livestock farming: occupational and public health concerns 

Microbial resistance in livestock farming: occupational and public health concerns
Microbial resistance in livestock farming: occupational and public health concerns

Dick Heederik

, Marian Bos

, and Wietske Dohmen

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date: 20 October 2020

Around the turn of the century, a specific methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) strain emerged in animals, particularly in pigs and veal calves. This new MRSA variant has been referred to as livestock associated-MRSA (LA-MRSA), since its first appearance. The risk of carriage is related to the intensity of animal contact. LA-MRSA is an example of a resistant micro-organism that most likely emerged because of high consumption of antimicrobial agents for veterinary purposes. Livestock farmers, veterinarians, and, to a lesser extent, slaughterhouse workers have high nasal carriage rates. In parallel, other resistant micro-organisms seem to emerge in livestock production like extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing (gut) bacteria, although transmission patterns are considerably more complex than for MRSA. These emerging antimicrobial resistant organisms pose new challenges for occupational health and hygiene experts and require extensive collaboration with infectious disease specialists and veterinarians in order to develop and implement effective preventive strategies.

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