Animal prevalence of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infive Danish mink (Neovison vison) farms

Mette Ely Fertner, Karl Pedersen, Julie Elvekjær Hansen, Gitte Larsen, Mariann Chriél

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    Background. Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) was for the first time isolated from Danish mink in 2013. Subsequent testing of all mink submitted for clinical diagnosis in Denmark, found 34 % (20/58) mink positive for LA-MRSA. In addition, 40 % (20/50) of screened healthy Danish mink farms were found positive. LA-MRSA in mink is believed to originate from contaminated slaughter-offal in the mink feed. Objective. The objective of the present study was to identify the animal-prevalence of LA-MRSA in five Danish minkfarms. Materials and Methods. We collected 1,500 mink carcasses from five Danish mink farms. Farmers were asked to collect 100 mink for each of the three consecutive months following the whelping period (May-July 2017). From each carcass, the right forepaw and a pharyngeal-swab was collected for investigation of MRSA by enrichment, followed by screening on selective agar. Results. By July 1st 2017, 20 mink (5 adult, 15 mink kits) from one farm, were all tested negative. Results from the remaining mink will be presented at the conference. Discussion and Conclusion. In the preliminary results of this study, all mink tested negative. This finding may be explained by an overall low animal-prevalence in the farm. Another explanation could be the high proportion of young mink kits (15/20) tested. All mink kits were <5 weeks of age and had therefore not yet started feeding, which may reduce the likelihood of MRSA carriage. Perspectives. The anatomical location of LA-MRSA on mink (pharynx and paws) poses a human health hazard to farmers, who handle the animals and are at risk of bites and scratches from infected sites. To what extent LA-MRSA has dispersed in the environment of LA-MRSA positive mink farms remains for investigation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventECVPH AGM & Annual Scientific Conference 2017: How can we improve public health, food hygiene, and animal welfare in developing country slaughterhouses? - Liege, Belgium
    Duration: 2 Oct 20174 Oct 2017


    ConferenceECVPH AGM & Annual Scientific Conference 2017


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