The European Food Safety Authority, along with the European CDC and European Medicines Agency, have released a report about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in livestock, pets and food. There’s nothing too earth-shattering in it, and nothing more than what we’ve been saying all along, but some of the points are worth repeating.

  • While food may be contaminated with MRSA, there is currently no evidence that eating or handling MRSA-contaminated food leads to increased health risks in people.
  • Pets can be infected with MRSA, first acquiring it from people but then potentially transmitting it back to humans.
  • Transfer of MRSA to humans from companion animals and horses is difficult to control. (I don’t agree with that). Basic hygiene measures are important before and after animal contact. Additionally, avoiding contact with nasal secretions, saliva and wounds is ideal.
  • Prudent use of antibiotics in animals should remain a key measure and monitoring of antibiotic use in animals should be performed to identify unnecessary use.
  • Drugs of last resort for the treatment of MRSA in humans should be avoided in animals.