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Vet Microbiol. 2012 Feb 24;155(1):88-92. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

The first detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST398 in pigs in Korea.

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National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, 480, Anyang, Gyeonggido, Republic of Korea.


In order to determine the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in pigs in Korea, a total of 657 nasal swabs were collected from pigs on 66 different pig farms nationwide during February 2008-May 2009. The prevalences of MRSA positive samples in pigs and farms were 3.2% (21/657) and 22.7% (15/66), respectively. Two different types were found among the 21 MRSA isolates: 17 strains of livestock-associated type (LA; ST398 or ST541/spa t034) and 4 strains of human-associated type (HA; ST72/spa t664 or t2461). The most prevalent type of MRSA strain was ST398/t034 (12/21, 57%), followed by ST541/t034 (5/21, 23.8%). The rest of the isolates were ST72/t664 (n=2) and ST72/t2461 (n=2), respectively. Our data provide evidence for the existence of not only LA types (ST398 and ST541) but also HA type (ST72) MRSA in pigs in Korea. This survey provides the first evidence of LA type MRSA in animals in Korea. In addition, the presence of human MRSA clones in pigs observed in this study suggests an additional reservoir for human MRSA infection, and vice versa.

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