Genotypic diversity and transmission of livestock-associated MRSA

Bosch, T., 2016, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 138 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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Infections with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus were considered to belong to the past with the introduction of antibiotics. However, S. aureus quickly adapted and became resistant against a variety of these drugs, resulting in the emergence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). In 2005, a new MRSA variant was found in pigs and shown to be transmitted to pig farmers. This MRSA variant turned out to be present worldwide and carriage was found in many other livestock animals and designated as livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA).
In the Netherlands, the proportion of LA-MRSA isolated from humans rapidly increased and currently around 25% of the Dutch MRSA surveillance isolates are LA-MRSA. Molecular characterization of LA-MRSA has been a challenge since regular typing methods cannot differentiate LA-MRSA strains, hampering studies on transmissions and origin of LA-MRSA.
In this thesis, we describe the development and application of new molecular methods to characterize LA-MRSA strains and study their role in human infections. The results showed that LA-MRSA are genetically diverse and that there are three independently evolving genetic groups of LA-MRSA in the Netherlands. Utilizing the new technologies, we could confirm human-to-human transmission of LA-MRSA in Dutch healthcare facilities and showed that prolonged persistence of LA-MRSA in humans occurs. Furthermore, we showed that the number of infections caused by LA-MRSA increases and that there is an increased number people that are colonized or infected with LA-MRSA without having contact with livestock, suggesting LA-MRSA is changing resulting in transmission between humans rather than between animal and human.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Grundmann, Hajo, Supervisor
  • Kluytmans, J. A. J. W., Supervisor, External person
  • Schouls, Leo M., Co-supervisor, External person
  • Savelkoul, Paul H. M., Assessment committee, External person
  • Vos, M.C., Assessment committee, External person
  • Skov, Robert L., Assessment committee, External person
  • Boddeke, Hendrikus, Assessment committee
Award date31-Oct-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9136-6
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9137-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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