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Antibiotic-Resistant Hospital Germ Traced to U.K. Livestock, Study Finds

Last Updated: November 04, 2014.

British researchers urge strict agricultural standards to prevent MRSA's spread.

TUESDAY, Nov. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals can be traced back to livestock, a new study says.

The results highlight the need for strict antibacterial safeguards in the food industry, and responsible use of antibiotics in agriculture and health care, the researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland said in a university news release.

They found that a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) called CC398 was present in some U.K. hospitals. This strain is found in livestock but can be transmitted to people, and these findings show that it can spread in hospitals, the researchers noted.

"Our findings emphasize the need for strict biosecurity practices in the food production industry, as well as continued surveillance and infection control of MRSA in hospitals," lead researcher Dr. Melissa Ward said in the news release. "Responsible use of antibiotics in health care settings and agriculture is of utmost importance."

The strain's resistance to antibiotics is likely due to the widespread use of antibiotics on farms, according to the study in the December issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about MRSA.

SOURCE: University of Edinburgh, news release, Nov. 3, 2014


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