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Prevalence of Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (LA-MRSA) Among Farm and Slaughterhouse Workers in Italy

Mascaro, Valentina MD; Leonetti, Maria MD; Nobile, Carmelo Giuseppe Angelo MD; Barbadoro, Pamela MD; Ponzio, Elisa PhD; Recanatini, Claudia MD; Prospero, Emilia MD; Pavia, Maria MD, MPH Collaborative Working Group

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 8 - p e416–e425
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001385

Objective: We measured the prevalence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in swine livestock workers, examined LA-MRSA resistance profile, and associated carriage with the working activities.

Methods: Information was collected on demographics and occupational history. Swabs were collected and tested for the isolation of S. aureus, examined for antimicrobial susceptibility, and all MRSA underwent ST398qPCR assay.

Results: LA-MRSA was isolated in 7.3% of the 396 enrolled workers. LA-MRSA colonization was more likely in farmers than in slaughterhouse workers (Fisher exact P = 0.001). Carriage was associated with herd size, being less frequent in small/medium farms (odds ratio = 0.20; 95% confidence interval = 0.07 to 0.53), and with the number of working days per week (OR = 2.11; 95% confidence interval = 1.07 to 4.19).

Conclusions: LA-MRSA carriage is strongly animal-exposure related, and educational intervention informing about the risks related to the activity with livestock is needed.

Department of Health Sciences, University of Catanzaro “Magna Græcia,” Catanzaro, Italy (Dr Mascaro, Dr Leonetti, and Dr Pavia); Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy (Dr Nobile); Department of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Polytechnic University of the Marche Region, Ancona, Italy (Dr Barbadoro, Dr Ponzio, Dr Recanatini, and Dr Prospero).

Address correspondence to: Maria Pavia, MD, MPH, Department of Health Sciences, University of Catanzaro “Magna Græcia”, Via Tommaso Campanella, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy (

Collaborative Working Group: Francesco Corapi1, Gregorio Altilia1, Giuseppe Caparello2, Rosario Fruci2, Pasquale Mazzeo3, Pietro Ruffa3, Francesco Massara3, Gemma Zocco4

1Veterinary Health Service Catanzaro

2Veterinary Health Service Lamezia Terme

3Veterinary Health Service Vibo Valentia

4Department of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Polytechnic University of the Marche Region, Ancona, Italy

VM and ML equally contributed to this work.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine