A type of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), known to be an important cause of zoonotic infections in some parts of Europe, has been found for the first time in bulk milk tanks sampled in the UK according to a newly published report.
Approximately 1500 bulk milk tanks across the country were sampled as part of a wider study to detect MRSA in dairy cattle. A type of livestock-associated MRSA referred to as clonal complex 398 (LA-MRSA CC398) was isolated from samples taken from five widely dispersed farms. The study’s authors conclude that this suggests LA-MRSA CC398 is established in UK livestock.
Since LA-MRSA CC398 is known to cause infection in humans, the finding is important from an occupational health point of view for farmworkers and others who have regular contact with livestock. The authors comment that the organism is unlikely to enter the food chain because it would be destroyed by pasteurisation.
The report is published in the journal Eurosurveillance and can be found here.