Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Prevent MRSA in horse hospitals

Bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics have become a serious threat to humans and animals. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an example of such a bacterium.

MRSA infections in horses are difficult to treat, as there are so few effective antibiotics. By improving hygiene in hospital care for animals, the spread of resistant bacteria can be reduced. This is shown by Karin Bergström, Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA in Swedish), who will publicly defend her doctoral thesis in the subject at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU in Swedish) on June 5.

The dissertation provides insights into MRSA in horses and emphasizes the importance of measures to prevent infections also in equine hospitals. The findings can be used to enhance measures to prevent the spread of MRSA in these hospitals.

“An infection-control program requires continuous work with audits, training, and monitoring. Hospital leaders need to give their support by allocating resources and by their active engagement. The introduction of infection-prevention and -control measures is a self-evident responsibility of horse hospitals, as MRSA involves both patient safety and the working environment,” says Assistant State Veterinarian Karin Bergström.

In the summer of 2008, MRSA-infected horses were found at an equine hospital in Sweden. It was through the studies included in the dissertation that this outbreak could be established. A key observation was that infections of superficial wounds, which most of the horses were suffering from, healed without treatment with antibiotics. This event led to increased interest in preventing MRSA in equine healthcare.

The bacteria in the outbreak turned out to belong to a type of MRSA called CC398. This type is associated with foodstuffs-producing animals, but it has also been found in horses in Europe. This was the first time this type of bacteria had caused infections in animals in Sweden. Of a total of nine horses that could be monitored after the infection, all but one evinced negative samples within two to seven months, and their nostrils proved to be the most reliable sampling site for revealing MRSA.

Collaboration between the hospital where the infection had spread, expertise healthcare hygiene in human medicine, and public authorities contributed to the development of a program for infection control. But the environment at a horse hospital presents challenges, and further studies are needed regarding how this environment can be adapted. For example, the development of surface materials that are suited to horses and at the same time easy to disinfect facilitated infection control in horse healthcare. The cost to the hospital was SEK 1.2 million.

Environmental sampling showed that MRSA was prevalent in places accessible only to humans, which means that hand hygiene can be improved. Moreover, MRSA was found on furnishings that are difficult to clean. Therefore, mangers and water cups were replaced by buckets that could be disinfected. Observations at three horse hospitals showed that routines regarding work clothing and the like were complied with in an exemplary manner. Compliance with routines for hand hygiene and disposable gloves was somewhat poorer. Reasons given for this were practical difficulties, insufficient knowledge, and high workloads.
The dissertation will be publicly defended at SLU, Clinical Centre in Ultuna, room 1, at 9.15 a.m. Third-cycle subject: Clinical science, specializing in animal care, Department of Domesticated Animal Environment and Health, SLU Skara. The title of the dissertation is “Prevention and control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in equine hospitals in Sweden.”

Contact person for the media
Assistant State Veterinarian Karin Bergström, tel. +46 (0)18-67 42 13,

Helena Ohlsson | idw
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>