New methods to identify MRSA in pigs

August 05, 2014

Traditionally, MRSA has been associated with severe infections which occur in hospitals and result in prolonged diseases and increased mortality. However, in recent years, MRSA has spread to the rest of the community, e.g. MRSA CC398 is found in pig production.

MRSA is resistant to the antibiotics with which we normally use for treatment of Staphylococcus infections.

In her PhD project at the National Food Institute, PhD student Mette Theilgaard exploited the latest technologies within whole genome sequencing and studied the entire DNA of MRSA CC398.

These studies have resulted in new methods, high-throughput approaches, which can identify genes important for the survival of MRSA in pigs. High-throughput approaches can identify those genes in the total gene pool of the bacteria which are essential, or the presence of which is advantageous, for the bacteria under some given circumstances.

Transfer of Disease From Animals To Humans

The fact that MRSA can spread from animals to humans, where they may result in infections, has caused great concern in recent years. LA-MRSA ST398 is a new type and has turned out to be particularly successful in colonisation of pigs, from where it may transmit to humans.

Therefore, several monitoring studies focus on locating the origin of this MRSA type and its potential. Several central questions still remain unanswered, which makes it difficult to control the spread of this MRSA type. LA-MRSA ST398 is zoonotic, i.e. it can be transferred directly from animals to humans and cause disease. Thus, it is not sufficient to eradicate the bacteria from humans.

LA-MRSA ST398 has proven to be particularly successful in colonisation of pigs. By studying which genes are essential for the bacteria in pigs it may be possible for researchers to identify the factors important for the bacterium to colonise on pigs. We still don't know which specific genetic factors in this MRSA type facilitate the spread from animals to humans.
-end-
Read Mette Theilgaard's PhD thesis: http://www.food.dtu.dk/~/media/Institutter/Foedevareinstituttet/Publikationer/Pub-2014/Phd%20afhandling%20Mette%20Theilgaard%20Christiansen.ashx

Technical University of Denmark

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.