Livestock-associated MRSA survival on house flies (Musca domestica) and stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) after removal from a Danish pig farm

Jonno Jorn Stelder*, Lene Jung Kjær, Lars Bogø Jensen, Anette Ella Boklund, Matt Denwood, Margrethe Carlsen, René Bødker

*Corresponding author for this work

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We caught stable- and house flies on a Danish LA-MRSA positive pig farm. Stable- and house flies were housed together and culled over time to test for the presence of live LA-MRSA bacteria at 24 h intervals to establish the length of time for which LA-MRSA can persist on flies. On average, 7% of stable flies and 27% of house flies tested positive for LA-MRSA immediately upon removal from the farm. LA-MRSA prevalence decreased over time and estimates based on a Kaplan-Meier time-to-event analysis indicated that the probability of a stable- or house fly testing positive for LA-MRSA was 5.4% and 7.8% after 24 h, 3.5% and 4.3% after 48 h, 3.1% and 2.2% after 72 h and 0.4% and 0% after 96 h of removal from the pig farm, respectively. Simultaneously, we found that caged cultivated house flies became carriers of LA-MRSA, without direct contact with pigs, in the same proportions as wild flies inside the farm. We provide distance distributions of Danish pig farms and residential addresses as well as the calculated maximum dispersal potentials of stable- and house flies, which suggest that there is a potential for stable- and house flies dispersing live LA-MRSA bacteria into the surrounding environment of a pig farm. This potential should therefore be considered when modelling the spread between farms or the risk posed to humans living in close proximity to LA-MRSA pig farm sources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3527
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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