Mike the Mad Biologist

The ‘Piggy’ MRSA: It’s Here…


So while I was at the American Society for Microbiology meeting this week (and my talk went fine, thanks for asking), I saw a poster by one of ScienceBlogling Tara‘s students, Abby Harper, about MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in pigs.

In the past, I’ve talked about how, in Europe, there is a strain of MRSA that is sweeping through pigs in Europe, ST398. Essentially, this is a silent epidemic sweeping through pigs (it doesn’t seem to cause that much disease is pigs; it’s primarily a commensal). In agricultural communities, it seems to be spreading from pigs to people.

So now Tara and Anne come along and tell us that, in seven farms, none were MRSA-free and some were…chock full of MRSA. And the strain was always ST398.

Oh my.

Seriously, ST398 could very well be the next MRSA epidemic strain in the U.S.

I blame Tara.