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Old 20-11-2007, 06:35 PM posted to,alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,talk.politics.animals,uk.environment.conservation,uk.rec.birdwatching,uk.rec.gardening,uk.politics.animals,
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Default Meet your meat: MRSA from your pork chops. You are what you eat. was Private vets putting their hands up.

On Tue, 20 Nov 2007 17:33:43 -0000, "Pat Gardiner"

Pat's Note: This is deeply significant. This is Britain's premier pig vet
site, read everywhere. Not to put to fine a point on it, they have their
hands up. They know the Americans are hot on their trail and are about to
kick the hell out of them.

Why, oh why did they hide it all up, for years too?

If you thought that giving out the bank details of everyone with children
was bad, knocking off grandmother is even more serious.

Britain's private vets will now turn Queen's Evidence ( a form of plea
bargaining) and place the blame, where it belongs, firmly on Britain's
corrupt State Veterinary Service.

Ironically, the largest unrecorded group of premature deaths are livestock
vets, pig farmers, meat workers and their families.

It is all too easy to label efforts to clean up Britain's veterinary
industry and its government controllers, by seeing it as an attack on
livestock farming.

A little thought will see it as supportive to a healthy viable industry,
safe for everyone involved: operators, owners, customers and even its vets
and their families.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Canadian researchers find drug-resistant Staph in pigs and farmers

US - Canadian researchers have found two major strains of the superbug MRSA
on pigs - and pig farmers - in southwestern Ontario, the first time the
pathogen has been reported in food animals in North America.

One of the strains, they believe, passed from people to pigs. But the other,
first seen in pigs in the Netherlands in 2003, seems to have originated in
animals and moved into people.

The senior author of the work said the findings don't cast in doubt the
safety of meat produced on Ontario pig farms. But they do suggest pig farms
could serve as sources of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
infections for people who work on them or live on them.

"The big public health concern in my mind is whether we might end up in the
same situation as they have in Europe with this starting to become an
important community pathogen," said senior author Dr. Scott Weese, a
veterinarian at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph who specializes in
the antibiotic resistant bugs that pass back and forth between people and

"The concern is there's this reservoir in pigs that's being spread into
people that work with pigs and now it's being spread into the general

People cooking or eating pork probably aren't at greater risk of acquiring a
MRSA infection by doing so, said Weese and other experts not involved in his

"The likelihood of food being a source (of infection) would probably be
pretty remote," said Dr. Jeffrey Bender, program director for veterinary
population medicine at the University of Minnesota.

A Dutch microbiologist who was one of the first researchers to spot the
emergence of MRSA in pigs went even further, saying he has no concern that
pork - which he eats rare - could be a source of the potentially serious

"I don't believe in it and there is no evidence that there might be any
route of transmission of MRSA," said Dr. Andreas Voss, professor of clinical
microbiology and infection control at Radboud University Medical Center in

"It's really mainly the direct contact with living animals that is the main

But whether MRSA in effluent from pig farms poses a human health risk is not
yet known, Weese admitted. "It's too soon to tell. I really don't have any
idea whether it's a potential problem. It's an area that needs to be looked

Voss and some colleagues first spotted the emergence of MRSA on pig farms in
the Netherlands in 2003, when two infants and a veterinarian were all found
to be carrying a new strain of the bacteria. MRSA rates in that country are
so low that three cases rang alarm bells. The investigation traced the
source to pigs.

Studies found that 25 per cent of Dutch pig farmers tested were carrying the
strain, which has subsequently been found in Denmark, Germany, Austria,
Italy, Singapore, Korea and now Canada.

"I assume it's all over the place," Voss said in an interview from Prague on

A followup three years later found that carriage rate in pig farmers had
risen to 50 per cent. And a study Voss and his group are publishing in the
December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases showed that more than 20 per
cent of all MRSA carriers or cases in the Netherlands have this particular

(At any given time between 20 to 30 per cent of people will carry Staph in
their nasal passages or on their skin without being ill. These people are
said to be "colonized" by the bug. Some will never get ill, but can pass the
bacteria to others. Others will can go on to develop infections that range
from boils and skin abscesses to life-threatening pneumonias or bloodstream

Inspired by the Dutch data, Weese and his co-authors sampled pigs and pig
farmers on 20 unidentified farms in southwestern Ontario. The findings of
the research project were published in the journal Veterinary Microbiology.

Just under half - 45 per cent - of the farms were found to have pigs or
farmers carrying MRSA. A quarter of 285 pigs swabbed in their snouts and
rumps were found to be carrying the bug. And 20 per cent of farmers (five of
25) also tested positive for MRSA.
European strain.

Nearly 60 per cent of the bacterial isolates from pigs and pig farmers were
of the European strain, which Weese thinks may have come to Canada in a
person. The most common human strain of MRSA in this country, called USA100,
was also found in some of the pigs and some of the pig handlers.

"It does raise the question: How does a bug like this get spread?" Bender
said of the findings.

"And there could be a number of ways. It could be animals. It could be
antibiotic use. And clearly we don't know the answer to that."

While many questions remain to be answered, the findings should be a red
flag to health-care institutions which struggle to keep MRSA infections out
because of the possibility of spread among vulnerable patients.

Voss said in the Netherlands, where public health officials take aggressive
measures to keep MRSA rates low, anyone who has contact with pig farms - the
farmers, their families and veterinarians - is put in isolation and tested
to see if they are carrying MRSA when they enter hospital.

You are what you eat.

You have bben warned.

pam the SPAMMERS send an email to

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