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Multidrug-resistant and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in hog slaughter and processing plant workers and their community in North Carolina (USA).
Neyra-RC; Frisancho-JA; Rinsky-JL; Resnick-C; Carroll-KC; Rule-AM; Ross-T; You-Y; Price-LB; Silbergeld-EK
Environ Health Perspect 2014 May; 122(5):471-477
BACKGROUND: Use of antimicrobials in industrial food-animal production is associated with the presence of antimicrobial-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) among animals and humans. Hog slaughter/processing plants process large numbers of animals from industrial animal operations and are environments conducive to the exchange of bacteria between animals and workers. OBJECTIVES: We compared the prevalence of multidrug-resistant S. aureus (MDRSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) carriage among processing plant workers, their household members, and community residents. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of hog slaughter/processing plant workers, their household members, and community residents in North Carolina. Participants responded to a questionnaire and provided a nasal swab. Swabs were tested for S. aureus, and isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibility and subjected to multilocus sequence typing. RESULTS: The prevalence of S. aureus was 21.6%, 30.2%, and 22.5% among 162 workers, 63 household members, and 111 community residents, respectively. The overall prevalence of MDRSA and MRSA tested by disk diffusion was 6.9% and 4.8%, respectively. The adjusted prevalence of MDRSA among workers was 1.96 times (95% CI: 0.71, 5.45) the prevalence in community residents. The adjusted average number of antimicrobial classes to which S. aureus isolates from workers were resistant was 2.54 times (95% CI: 1.16, 5.56) the number among isolates from community residents. We identified two MDRSA isolates and one MRSA isolate from workers as sequence type 398, a type associated with exposure to livestock. CONCLUSIONS: Although the prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA was similar in hog slaughter/processing plant workers and their household and community members, S. aureus isolates from workers were resistant to a greater number of antimicrobial classes. These findings may be related to the nontherapeutic use of antimicrobials in food-animal production.
Animals; Food; Livestock-foods; Livestock; Livestock-industry; Microbiology; Bacteria; Food-processing-industry; Food-processing; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis; Pathogenicity; Meat-handlers; Meat-packing-industry
E.K. Silbergeld, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21205
Issue of Publication
Environmental Health Perspectives
MD; NC; DC
Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division