The discovery on UK shelves of pork contaminated with a livestock strain of MRSA prompts calls to curb misuse of antibiotics in intensive farming. Pork sold by several leading British supermarkets has been found to be contaminated with a strain of the superbug MRSA that is linked to the overuse of powerful antibiotics on factory farms, a Guardian investigation has revealed. Livestock-associated MRSA CC398, which originates in animals, has been found in pork products sold in Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-operative and Tesco. Of the 100 packets of pork chops, bacon and gammon tested by the Guardian, nine – eight Danish and one Irish – were found to have been infected with CC398. CC398 in meat, which poses little risk to the British public, can be transmitted by touching infected meat products or coming into contact with contaminated livestock or people, although it can be killed through cooking. Continue Reading →
The threat of MRSA in hospitals has generated an urgent response, but an MRSA variant is spreading from farm livestock to supermarket meat unchecked.
MRSA is best known in the UK for causing hospital-acquired infections – and many deaths. There has been little human to human transmission of the superbug in the community, but it is particularly dangerous in hospitals because it can colonise wounds easily, especially where patients’ immunity is low. It has been associated with poor hygiene in hospitals, but the main factor behind the spread of MRSA has been the over-prescription of antibiotics, which has allowed a rather mundane germ that lives on many of our bodies without causing any problems to become far more dangerous to human health. CC398, a new variant of MRSA, emerged in animals and is found in intensively farmed animals (primarily pigs, but also cows and chickens), from where it can be transmitted to humans. Continue Reading →
Less than 1 percent of farmers have in the course of a year been fined, compared with the estimated level of 5-10 percent of farmers to be fined, when the Danish Parliament in the autumn 2010 decided to minimize the use of antibiotics to pigs by introducing a yellow scheme with fines to farmers for heavy use of antibiotics.
See the discussion in the Danish parliament on the decision of yellow scheme. All together since the introduction of yellow scheme there have been 130 cases of fines giving to farmers according to documents which Investigative Reporting Denmark has obtained, with names of all the farmers getting a fine. Excel-file with all data on 130 cases of yellow scheme
Original documents showing fines to farmers:
Yellow scheme in 2011
Yellow scheme in 2012
Yellow scheme in 2013
Yellow scheme in 2014
According to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration only 0.3 to 0.8 pct of the farms received a yellow scheme in the years from 2011-2014, during which the system has been in effect. The documents also show only 2 farmers instead of an estimated 200 received an increased fine and surveillance and no one received a red scheme or had their number of pigs reduced. Authorities claim that this result is because of the success of the system. Continue Reading →
Access to documents from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration shows the authorities are hiding activities in the MRSA-case. It also shows that officials let farmers refuse to participate in test.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration claims that it has not shared test-result with the farmers’ association, Landbrug & Fødevarer. //
Documents from the case shows a different story:
The authority claims the test results have not been validated. In the documents it is made clear that a farm is regarded MRSA-positive if one out of five samples is positive. Continue Reading →
We live in a period where democracy might not survive. The main task for journalists is to investigate how minorities live and think. And then tell it. Jan Guillou, born 1944, has a background as a famous investigative reporter in Sweden exposing the intelligence service in 1973 and spending one year in prison for that story. Today, he’s a famous writer, known for his 13 novels on the spy, Carl Hamilton, starting in 1986, four novels on the High Middle Ages and now for making a family chronicle to describe developments in the 20th century. Continue Reading →
Despite the threat from the dangerous pig-bacteria MRSA CC398, the Danish pig-farmers use more and more antibiotics in their daily production. This is the result of our analysis on totally new data concerning medicine use. We publish the detailed list of pig-farmers use of antibiotics during the last six years. Antibiotics are commonly used in commercial swine production for disease treatment, disease prevention and control, and growth promotion. (Photo from Wikipedia)
In 2010 the use was at the highest level. Continue Reading →
At least every second Danish swine farm is probably infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to new investigations. Ministers demand total sterilization of 500 farms for breeding pigs and ban public visits to infected farms – but keep the names of these farms secret. – The Danish Food Administration is in the process of analyzing tests from 200 farms. The results will be available later this year. But I can say now that we expect that 50 percent or more will be tested positive. I have therefore asked for a reassessment of the risks, said Danish Minister of Food and Agriculture Dan Jørgensen (S) in an open meeting in the Agriculture Committee under the Danish Parliament Wednesday 27th of August. Continue Reading →
Kenneth Sørensen talks about what it’s like to be infected with the dangerous pig bacteria MRSA – and to be resistant to various kinds of antibiotics. “They cannot operate someone like you at Frederikshavn Hospital.” This is what a nurse told 33-year-old Kenneth Sørensen when he a few months ago had a hernia. Kenneth Sørensen. (Photo: Michael Bo Rasmussen)
– The message from the nurse was disheartening. And frustrating. I wanted to cry. Continue Reading →
Kenneth Sørensen feels misinformed and misled by the national consultant on MRSA, while his employer thinks that she has some explaining to do. The consultant does not believe she has provided misinformation. – I am embarrassed. I look down at the ground and try to hide my face. I do not shake hands. Continue Reading →
European authorities have no records on the new spread of resistance germs from pigs to humans. Scientists say the total death toll for resistant antibiotics is outdated and too low. The news of four deaths in Denmark caused by infections from livestock associated (LA) resistant germs has not reached European authorities, except through media reports. The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, ECDC, based in Solna, Sweden keeps no record of infections from different strains of resistant bacteria. Dominique L. Monnet, Head of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections Programme at ECDC, explains in a written comment:
”No EU survey on human infections due to LA-MRSA CC398 is currently planned by ECDC. Continue Reading →