Research outputs

View graph of relations


Main research question/goal
The aim of this project is to develop a protocol to remediate MRSA-positive pig farms. In the course of the project we study infection sources of MRSA on farms, the reproduction ratio during an infection and bacteria-host interactions. This project involves pig-only farms as well as multi-species farms (mostly pigs/cattle, but also pigs/broilers) because these are numerous in Belgium. On multispecies farms, specific infection routes may be present, which necessitate adapted remediation protocols.

Research approach
After initial screening of pig farms, six farms (two farms with pigs only, two pig/cattle farms and two pig/broiler farms) are intensively sampled. The age at which infection starts, the source of infection, contamination routes, etc. are determined. In slaughterhouses, carcasses are sampled to determine the MRSA contamination level of Belgian pork. Through transmission experiments, the spread of MRSA in a pen is modelled to determine the reproduction ratio. Cleaning and disinfection products (both products already on the market and alternative products), are tested both in vitro and in vivo.

For the first time in 2005, a new MRSA type was reported: the so-called livestock-associated MRSA. This MRSA type has been found in livestock animals, especially pigs. Furthermore, this type has also been found in people working in close contact with these animals, such as farmers, veterinarians and slaughterhouse personnel. In addition to concerns for their own health, these persons could also be a source of infection to the general human population. Furthermore, this can also give pork a negative image and result in a possible economic impact on the pig industry.

Based on the results, hygienic guidelines to remediate MRSA-positive farms are developed.

Funding provider(s)
IWT - Instituut voor de aanmoediging door wetenschap en technologie in Vlaanderen

External partner(s)
CODA-CERVA - Centrum Onderzoek Diergeneeskunde & Agrochemie
Katho campus Roeselare
KULeuven - Dept. Biosystemen
Ugent - Fac. Diergeneeskunde
Effective start/end date1/01/0931/12/12

ID: 4156290