NEWS SCAN: MRSA in meat, hepatitis A in Europe, global polio decline

May 3, 2013

S aureus and MRSA found in livestock, meat samples
A study of livestock and retail meat samples in Fargo, N. Dak., showed that Staphylococcus aureus was common but methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) was much less so. Researchers from North Dakota State University (NDSU) and other institutions took nasal swabs from 167 food animals at NDSU and collected 145 raw meat samples and 46 deli meat samples from Fargo supermarkets, according to their report in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. The overall prevalence of S aureus was 37.2%, including 34.7% of the animals, 47.6% of raw meat samples, and 13.0% of deli meat samples. Five of 71 pork samples (7%) were positive for MRSA; 4 of the 5 were multidrug-resistant (MDR), and 3 were strain ST398, which has been associated with livestock MRSA and infections in people exposed to livestock. ST398 was also found in pigs and sheep, but a marker for community-associated MRSA strains was not found. "Although MRSA prevalence in raw meat is low, the prevalence of MDR S aureus and ST398 is higher; therefore, the risk of transmission through the meat production chain cannot be ignored," the report concludes.
May 2 Foodborne Pathog Dis abstract

Europe reports multinational hepatitis A outbreak
Since November, 15 confirmed and 89 probable cases of hepatitis A have been reported in 14 European countries, and all patients had traveled to Egypt, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported yesterday. "Due to the fact that 15 of these cases, identified in three different countries, have identical ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequences," the agency said in a news release, "a multistate outbreak has been confirmed with exposure occurring in that country." Any non-vaccinated person traveling to Egypt, particularly to the Red Sea region, may be at risk of exposure, the ECDC said. Preliminary epidemiologic investigations have not identified a specific infection source.
May 2 ECDC news release

Global polio cases dropped 66% last year
Global polio cases dropped in 2012 to a third the level they were in 2011, with only Nigeria reporting an increase, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report today. Writing in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the agency said the number of global wild poliovirus (WPV) cases decreased 66%, from 650 in 2011 to 223 in 2012. WPV cases in those 2 years dropped from 80 to 37 in Afghanistan (53%) and from 198 to 58 in Pakistan (71%), but they almost doubled in Nigeria, from 62 to 122. The number of imported WPV cases in previously polio-free countries fell dramatically, from 309 in 12 countries in 2011 to 6 in 2 countries in 2012. From January through March of this year, 22 WPV cases were reported worldwide, compared with 48 cases during the same period last year, the CDC said.
May 3 MMWR report

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