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MRSA-Pig Link a 'Red Flag' For Health Care

by 5m Editor
17 January 2008, at 12:27pm

CANADA - A Canadian professor calls his research team’s recent discovery of a link between bacteria known as MRSA and hogs in North America a red flag to health-care institutions.

According to the Minot Daily News, vet Scott Weese, of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, said findings are important. They show that the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria can be readily passed from animals to humans even when contact between the two are limited.

Until recently, conventional wisdom had MRSA pegged as an infection occurring mainly in hospitals. A Journal of American Medical Association study found that even healthy people are developing MRSA infections.

Weese,who specializes in antibiotic resistant bugs that pass back and forth between humans and animals, says the research now backs up earlier Dutch and British studies that show similar links between hogs and humans.

“Questions remain unanswered, but the finding should be a red flag to health-care institutions,” Weese said. “Although MRSA doesn’t typically cause illness in pigs as it does in people, pigs could perhaps send this back into the human population.”

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5m Editor