Livestock-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) among MRSA from humans across the European Union/European Economic Area, 2013: ECDC survey

The survey results show more frequent detections and geographical dispersion of LA-MRSA in humans in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) since 2007, and highlight the public health and veterinary importance of LA-MRSA as a ‘One Health’ issue. The ECDC advocates for periodic systematic surveys or integrated multi-sectorial surveillance to facilitate control measures.

Livestock-associated meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) poses a zoonotic risk, particularly for those working in close contact with livestock. Nonetheless, surveillance of LA-MRSA in humans in Europe is currently not systematic, but mainly event-based. In 2014, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) initiated a questionnaire survey to collect data on the numbers of LA-MRSA from human samples at national or regional reference laboratories in EU/EEA countries in 2013. ECDC received responses from 28 reference laboratories from 27 (90 %) EU/EEA countries.

Overall, respondents reported receiving MRSA isolates from 14 291 patients in 2013, of which 13,756 (96%) were typed. LA-MRSA was identified by 17 (89%) of 19 countries with MRSA typing data. Overall, the percentage of typed MRSA isolates that were LA-MRSA was 3.9% (535/13 756). Seven countries reported that MRSA typing was not performed, in 2013, in the responding reference laboratory.

A need for systematic surveillance

This survey documents showed the increasing detection and geographical dispersion of LA-MRSA in humans in the EU/EEA since 2007. Moreover, 2014 and 2015 reports from the Nordic countries, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK have subsequently indicated an upward trend in the spread of LA-MRSA across Europe. The absence, in 2013, of MRSA typing in national/regional laboratories in seven countries is therefore of concern.

The results and overall high response rate for this survey highlight both the actual and perceived public health importance of LA-MRSA as a ‘One Health’ issue in EU/EEA countries. ECDC therefore recommends that EU/EEA countries consider repeating this survey periodically to monitor for changes and systematically map potential reservoirs and transmission pathways. Linkage of multi-sectorial, ‘One Health’ MRSA data is also encouraged, in order to enable appropriate targeting and monitoring of the effectiveness of control measures.

Assessment of infection control, hospital hygiene capacity and training needs in the European Union

This technical report describes the results of the 2014 survey on the evolution of infection control and hospital hygiene capacity and training in Europe, comparing 2014 data with those from the two previous surveys conducted in 2006, “Improving Patient Safety in Europe” (IPSE) and “Training in Infection Control in Europe” (Trice) in 2010.

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