A Canadian professor calls his research team’s recent discovery of a link between methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and hogs in North America a red flag to health-care institutions.
Scott Weese of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, said the findings are important. They show that MRSA bacteria can be readily passed from animals to humans even when contact between the two are limited. The report was made in North Dakota newspaper the Minot Daily News.
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 bacteria that pass 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.”