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Med. Weter. 73 (2), 92-98, 2017

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Magdalena Kizerwetter-Świda, Joanna Pławińska-Czarnak
Livestock-associated strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) – the current state of knowledge
A methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) referred to as livestock-associated (LA-MRSA) has recently emerged in farm animals, particularly in pigs. Strains of this MRSA variant from Europe and North America mostly belong to clonal complex (CC) 398. Generally LA-MRSA cause asymptomatic colonization among pigs, but also in veal calves, broiler chickens, turkeys, and horses. People in contact with livestock animals are at high risk of asymptomatic colonization or infection with these bacteria. In previous years, the impact of LA-MRSA on human health was considered small. However, LA-MRSA has become more prevalent among people without direct livestock contact, especially in areas with a high density of pig production. As a result of horizontal gene transfer S. aureus CC398 strains are constantly evolving. The adaptive power of S. aureus to new hosts and acquisition of resistance to antibiotics may cause the emergence of new, more virulent clones. LA-MRSA has evolved from human-adapted methicillin-susceptible S. aureus CC398, which was proved by comparative genome analysis. The adaptation to livestock was associated with several genetic changes. The most worrying aspect of MRSA CC398 seems to be its ability to spread to humans. For this reason, continuous surveillance of further genetic changes is recommended.
Key words: Staphylococcus aureus, LA-MRSA, people, CC398