TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

First time ever link found between MRSA and swine handling

A recent study conducted by researchers at Geisinger's Henry Hood Center for Health Records and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found the first association between agricultural practices and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Researchers found a link between living near high-density livestock production facilities and the community-acquired infection MRSA. An estimated 11 percent of community-acquired MRSA and soft tissue infections cases may caused by crops fertilized with manure from pigs. The study was published online in the September 16 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates nearly 80 percent of antibiotics produced in the U.S. are used with livestock, producing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in livestock feces. The researchers of the study took an electronic health record system to analyze the each case of community-associated MRSA and soft tissue infection with regard to each person's proximity to crop fields and field size.

Researchers found a link between community-associated MRSA and handling swine manure; a correlation was also found between the infection and general agricultural swine operations.

"The study shows the utility of electronic health records for demonstrating the unrecognized public health consequences of operations with environmental impacts," Senior Author Brian Schwartz of Geisinger Health System and Bloomberg School's Department of Environmental Health Sciences said.