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Public health
Transmission of livestock-associated MRSA to people

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IN an excellent review report by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) (2017) where it carried out a qualitative risk assessment on the transmission of livestock-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in the UK food chain, it concluded that ‘the prevalence of food contaminated with LA-MRSA is low in the UK’. In addition ‘the risk to human health from the preparation, handling and/or consumption of LA-MRSA/MRSA contaminated food stuffs in the UK is very low, especially compared to other routes of transmission’. They also advised that ‘raw food should be stored appropriately, handled hygienically and cooked thoroughly. In combination, these measures should be sufficient to ensure that any harmful bacteria present are destroyed.’ This is very gratifying as it also reports that ‘within the general UK human population, 30 per cent carry meticillin-sensitive S aureus (MSSA) in their noses and <2 per cent carry MRSA.’ These are primarily community-acquired (CA-MRSA) or hospital-acquired (HA-MRSA) MRSA strains.

Fortunately, LA-MRSA, mainly associated with the clonal …

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