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Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306741

Multidrug-Resistant and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Hog Slaughter and Processing Plant Workers and Their Community in North Carolina (USA)

Ricardo Castillo Neyra,1 Jose Augusto Frisancho,2 Jessica L. Rinsky,3 Carol Resnick,2 Karen Colleen Carroll,4 Ana Maria Rule,2 Tracy Ross,4 Yaqi You,2 Lance B. Price,5 and Ellen Kovner Silbergeld
Author Affiliations close
1Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; 2Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; 3Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; 4Division of Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Maryland, USA; 5Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
About This Article open

This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.

Citation: Castillo Neyra R, Frisancho JA, Rinsky JL, Resnick C, Carroll KC, Rule AM, Ross T, You Y, Price LB, Silbergeld EK. Multidrug-Resistant and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Hog Slaughter and Processing Plant Workers and Their Community in North Carolina (USA). Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1306741.

Received: 2 March 2013
Accepted: 4 February 2014
Advance Publication: 7 February 2014

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Abstract

Background: Use of antimicrobials in industrial food-animal production is associated with the presence of antimicrobial resistant Staphylococcus aureus among animals and humans. Hog slaughter/processing plants process large numbers of animals from industrial animal operations, and are environments conducive to the exchange of bacteria between animals and workers.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and multidrug resistant S. aureus (MDRSA) carriage between processing plant workers, their household members, and community residents.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of hog slaughter/processing plant workers, their household members, and community residents in North Carolina. Participants responded to a questionnaire and provided a nasal swab. Swabs were tested for S. aureus, and isolates tested for antimicrobial susceptibility and subjected to multilocus sequence typing.

Results: The prevalence of S. aureus was 21.6%, 30.2%, and 22.5% among 162 workers, 63 household members, and 111 community residents, respectively. The overall prevalence of MRSA and MDRSA tested by disk diffusion was 4.8% and 6.9%, respectively. The adjusted prevalence of MDRSA among workers was 1.96 times (95% CI: 0.71, 5.45) the prevalence in community residents. The adjusted average number of antimicrobial classes to which S. aureus isolates from workers were resistant was 2.54 times (95% CI: 1.16, 5.56) the number among isolates from community residents. One MRSA isolate and two MDRSA isolates from workers were identified as sequence type 398, a type associated with exposure to livestock.

Conclusions: Although the prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA was similar in hog slaughter/processing plant workers and their household and community members, S. aureus isolates from workers were resistant to a greater number of antimicrobial classes. These findings may be related to the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in food-animal production.


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