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Medical News and Perspectives
November 7, 2012

MRSA May Move From Livestock to Humans

JAMA. 2012;308(17):1726. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.14814

Individuals who live near a high density of livestock farms may have an increased risk of carrying livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA), even if they lack direct contact with the animals, suggests a study published in October in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The findings are the latest in a growing body of evidence for transmission of MRSA between livestock and humans. In particular, there has been concern about whether high-density livestock farms, where thousands of animals are housed in close proximity, might contribute to the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Clinicians and scientists are probing this possibility as they seek to identify potential sources of community-acquired MRSA, a growing public health concern.

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