Science - May 31, 2016

Pig farmers not sick of MRSA bacteria

Albert Sikkema

Many pig farmers have MRSA bacteria because many animals on their company are contaminated with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, research found that the farmers do not become ill from this livestock related MRSA.

Doctors of three hospitals from Brabant and researchers of RIVM, Utrecht University, Vrije University and Central Veterinary Institute came to this conclusion after research with 120 people on 49 pig farms. During a year they carried out six health tests on these people and took samples of the location. Of the 120 people 44 (37 percent) had MRSA, but these people were not more likely to suffer from infections, did not use more antibiotics and did not visit a doctor more often than other people. The researchers attribute this to the ‘healthy worker effect’, the healthy lifestyle of pig farmers, they stated in the scientific journal Epidemiology and Infections. They also think that supplementary research is needed.