Dose-response relationship between antimicrobial drugs and livestock-associated MRSA in pig farming

Alejandro Dorado-García*, Wietske Dohmen, M.E.H. Bos, K.M. Verstappen, Manon Houben, J.A. Wagenaar, D.J.J. Heederik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The farming community can be a vehicle for introduction of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in hospitals. During 2011–2013, an 18-month longitudinal study aimed at reducing the prevalence of LA-MRSA was conducted on 36 pig farms in the Netherlands. Evaluations every 6 months showed a slight decrease in MRSA prevalence in animals and a stable prevalence in farmers and family members. Antimicrobial use, expressed as defined daily dosages per animal per year, decreased 44% during the study period and was associated with declining MRSA prevalence in pigs. MRSA carriage in animals was substantially higher at farms using cephalosporins. Antimicrobial use remained strongly associated with LA-MRSA in humans regardless of the level of animal contact. A risk factor analysis outlined potential future interventions for LA-MRSA control. These results should encourage animal and public health authorities to maintain their efforts in reducing antimicrobial use in livestock and ask for future controlled intervention studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-959
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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