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Transmission of MRSA CC398 strains between pig farms related by trade of animals
  1. C. Espinosa-Gongora, DV1,
  2. E. M. Broens, DVM, Ph3,
  3. A. Moodley, MSc, Ph1,
  4. J. P. Nielsen2 and
  5. L. Guardabassi, DVM, Ph1
  1. Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  2. Department of Large Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  3. Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  1. E-mail for correspondence ceg{at}

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clonal complex (CC) 398 is a genetic lineage associated with livestock, especially pigs. The authors investigated the role of pig trade in the transmission of MRSA CC398 between farms using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), a highly discriminatory method for strain typing. PFGE analysis of 58 MRSA isolates from a retrospective study in the Netherlands and a prospective study in Denmark provided molecular evidence that the strains present in five of the eight recipient farms were indistinguishable from those occurring in the corresponding supplying farm. The molecular typing data confirm the findings of a previous risk-analysis study indicating that trading of colonised pigs is a vehicle for transmission of MRSA CC398.

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  • E. M. Broens is also at the Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands

  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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