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Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Dec;12(12):1939-41.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in veterinary doctors and students, the Netherlands.

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Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.


The prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the Netherlands, at 1.0%, is among the lowest in Europe. In 2004, a relationship between pig farming and a high risk for MRSA carriage was found. To investigate if those in professional contact with livestock are at higher risk for MRSA carriage, we screened 80 veterinary students and 99 veterinarians and questioned them about animal contacts and known MRSA risk factors. Of these, 27 students who did not have livestock contact were excluded from further analysis. We found 7 carriers of MRSA, a prevalence of 4.6%, which is similar to that found in patients who had previously been treated at foreign hospitals. A correlation of MRSA carriage with a specific animal group could not be established. To preserve the low prevalence of MRSA in the Netherlands, persons involved in the care of livestock should be isolated and screened on admission to the hospital.

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