High-Density Livestock Operations, Crop Field Application of Manure, and Risk of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection in Pennsylvania

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland2Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
JAMA Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 13.25). 09/2013; 173(21). DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10408
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT IMPORTANCE Nearly 80% of antibiotics in the United States are sold for use in livestock feeds. The manure produced by these animals contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria, resistance genes, and antibiotics and is subsequently applied to crop fields, where it may put community members at risk for antibiotic-resistant infections. OBJECTIVE To assess the association between individual exposure to swine and dairy/veal industrial agriculture and risk of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A population-based, nested case-control study of primary care patients from a single health care system in Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2010. Incident MRSA cases were identified using electronic health records, classified as community-associated MRSA or health care-associated MRSA, and frequency matched to randomly selected controls and patients with skin and soft-tissue infection. Nutrient management plans were used to create 2 exposure variables: seasonal crop field manure application and number of livestock animals at the operation. In a substudy, we collected 200 isolates from patients stratified by location of diagnosis and proximity to livestock operations. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Community-associated MRSA, health care-associated MRSA, and skin and soft-tissue infection status (with no history of MRSA) compared with controls. RESULTS From a total population of 446 480 patients, 1539 community-associated MRSA, 1335 health care-associated MRSA, 2895 skin and soft-tissue infection cases, and 2914 controls were included. After adjustment for MRSA risk factors, the highest quartile of swine crop field exposure was significantly associated with community-associated MRSA, health care-associated MRSA, and skin and soft-tissue infection case status (adjusted odds ratios, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.13-1.69], 1.30 [95% CI, 1.05-1.61], and 1.37 [95% CI, 1.18-1.60], respectively); and there was a trend of increasing odds across quartiles for each outcome (P ≤ .01 for trend in all comparisons). There were similar but weaker associations of swine operations with community-associated MRSA and skin and soft-tissue infection. Molecular testing of 200 isolates identified 31 unique spa types, none of which corresponded to CC398 (clonal complex 398), but some have been previously found in swine. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Proximity to swine manure application to crop fields and livestock operations each was associated with MRSA and skin and soft-tissue infection. These findings contribute to the growing concern about the potential public health impacts of high-density livestock production.


Available from: Joan A. Casey, Nov 17, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus isolates belonging to clonal cluster 398 (CC398) have emerged over the previous decade as a risk to livestock workers. Though most of the research to date has focused on colonization with these strains, a number of infections have also been documented, ranging from mild skin infections to more serious invasive infections and even death. Here, we review existing reports of human infections with CC398 and discuss their geographic distribution, general characteristics, and implications for future research. We identified 74 publications describing CC398 infections in humans in 19 different countries, suggesting this is an emerging worldwide issue.
    01/2015; 2(1). DOI:10.1007/s40572-014-0034-8
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nasal colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is associated with increased infection risk, yet colonization and infection isolates are rarely compared within the same study. The objectives of this study were to compare colonization and infection isolates from a Veterans Administration hospital in Iowa, and to determine the prevalence of livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) colonization and infection in a state with high livestock density. All patients with available MRSA isolates collected through routine nasal screening (73%; n = 397) and from infections (27%; n = 148) between December 2010 and August 2012 were included and tested for spa type and presence of PVL and mecA genes. Clinical isolates were tested for antibiotic resistance patterns. Paired colonization and infection isolates were compared for genetic and phenotypic congruity. The most common spa types were t002 (and other CC5-associated strains; 65%) and t008 (and other CC8-associated strains; 20%). No classic LA-MRSA spa types were identified. CC5-associated strains were less likely to be associated with infections (22%; 77/353) compared with CC8-associated strains (49%; 53/109). MRSA colonization was more common among patients with infections (71%) compared with the general screening population (7%). In most cases (82%; 28/34), paired colonization and infection isolates were genetically and phenotypically indistinguishable. Our data demonstrate a direct link between antecedent nasal colonization and subsequent MRSA infection. Further, our data indicate variability in colonization and infection efficiency among MRSA genotypes, which points to the need to define the molecular determinants underlying emergence of S. aureus strains in the community and nosocomial setting.
    01/2015; 4:10. DOI:10.1186/s13756-015-0048-5
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The US food system functions within a complex nexus of social, political, economic, cultural, and ecological factors. Among them are many dynamic pressures such as population growth, urbanization, socioeconomic inequities, climate disruption, and the increasing demand for resource-intensive foods that place immense strains on public health and the environment. This review focuses on the role that policy plays in defining the food system, particularly with regard to agriculture. It further examines the challenges of making the food supply safe, nutritious, and sustainable, while respecting the rights of all people to have access to adequate food and to attain the highest standard of health. We conclude that the present US food system is largely unhealthy, inequitable, environmentally damaging, and insufficiently resilient to endure the impacts of climate change, resource depletion, and population increases, and is therefore unsustainable. Thus, it is imperative that the US embraces policy reforms to transform the food system into one that supports public health and reflects the principles of human rights and agroecology for the benefit of current and future generations.
    Annual Review of Public Health 03/2015; 36:151-73. DOI:10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031914-122621 · 6.63 Impact Factor