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We compared the prevalence of human and animal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at pig farms in The Netherlands, and related this to individual and farm-level characteristics. More than half of the farms investigated (28/50) had MRSA in pigs or stable dust and about one third (15/50) of person(s) were identified as MRSA carriers. Human carriage was found only on farms with MRSA-positive pigs or dust. MRSA strains in human samples were the same spa-type as found in pigs and all were not typable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (NT-MRSA). Multivariate analyses showed that risk factors for human MRSA carriage were: working in pig stables (OR 40, 95% CI 8–209) and the presence of sows and finishing pigs (OR 9, 95% CI 3–30). Veterinary sample collectors sampling the pigs showed transient MRSA carriage only during the day of the farm visit. Working in pig stables with MRSA-positive pigs poses a high risk for acquiring MRSA, increasingly so when contact with live pigs is more intensive or long lasting.
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