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Analysis of the baseline survey on the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in holdings with breeding pigs, in the EU, 2008 [1] - Part A: MRSA prevalence estimates

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been recognised as an important cause of hospital-associated infections in humans for several decades. MRSA is resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics. The MRSA lineage ST398 (MRSA ST398) has been recently described as a cause of infection for people occupationally exposed to pigs, by direct or indirect contact. MRSA ST398 can occasionally be introduced into hospitals as a result of community-acquired human infections. To assess the occurrence and the diversity of MRSA in pig primary production, a European Union-wide preliminary survey was carried out in parallel with a baseline survey on Salmonella spp. in holdings with breeding pigs to determine the prevalence of holdings positive for MRSA and MRSA ST398.