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Incidence of swine-related staphylococcus (MRSA CC 398) in Danish nursing home

03 June 2014

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority has investigated the conditions at a Danish nursing home following the death of a resident who was infected with the swine-related staphylococcus (MRSA CC 398).

The investigation showed that until early 2014 another resident at the same nursing home also had an infection caused by the same type of staphylococcus. As far as is known, none of the two residents have had any contact with pig herds.

Prevention of spreading

The two cases of MRSA CC 398 can be considered an outbreak because the cases occurred among the same group of persons.

Consequently, we have collaborated with the relevant municipality and the Department of Clinical Microbiology at Odense University Hospital about a screening programme for the residents in the part of the nursing home in which the two people infected with MRSA CC 398 lived.

Moreover, we have launched an examination of all the employees who have worked in the part of the nursing home in which the infected residents lived. The examination covers around 25 employees.

The staff, residents and relatives at the nursing home have been informed about the problem. If one or more positive carriers of MRSA are found, further investigations and other preventive measures will be initiated, depending on the outcome.

Description of MRSA

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are staphylococcus bacteria that are resistant to ordinary types of penicillin against staphylococci. MRSA is not more serious than other types of staphylococcus.

A healthy person has a low risk of becoming seriously ill because of staphylococci, but the bacterium may from time to time cause troublesome infections, such as abscesses and impetigo. People who are ill or in poor health may suffer from serious infections and healthy people may in rare cases become seriously ill, for example in connection with surgery.

MRSA CC 398 is different from the previously known types of MRSA in humans because it is mainly found among pigs; but it may be transmitted to humans who can become carriers or suffer from infections. MRSA CC 398 seems to transmit less frequently between humans than other types of MRSA.

Information about MRSA on the DHMA website