Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Success Combating Multi-resistant Bacteria in Stables

07.09.2015

Multi-resistant bacteria represent a major problem not only in hospitals but also in animal husbandry. A study of the University Bonn describes how a farmer successfully eliminated these pathogens entirely from his pig stable. However, the radical hygiene measures taken in this case can only be applied in individual cases. Nevertheless, the work has yielded a number of recommendations – not only for farms but also for hospitals. The study appeared in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Today some farms are implementing measures more frequently found in an operating theater: To enter the stable, employees have to change clothes. Before and after visiting the stables, hands must be cleaned thoroughly. Newly purchased animals are quarantined immediately. Particularly careful farmers arrange regular microbiological screens for resistant bacteria for themselves and their staff.


Dr. Ricarda Schmithausen obtains microbial samples to check whether the disinfection measures were successful.

(c) Photo: Ricarda Schmithausen / Uni Bonn

The purpose of these measures is to prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens – in particular multi-drug-resistant bacteria. Under certain circumstances these bacteria are dangerous, because infections are difficult to treat with antibiotics.

Two major problems are posed by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and certain intestinal bacteria which produce extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL). Even the strictest precautions against these bacteria are often not 100 percent successful, because these pathogens are found not only in humans and animals but also on walls and even in the air of the stable. In a previous study, researchers at the University of Bonn found MRSA on every fifth pig, and an ESBL rate of 30 percent.

Hygiene measures

For the first time, researchers have successfully demonstrated that multi-resistant bacteria can be eradicated from a stable. "But these radical steps can only be implemented in very few cases," says the agronomist Dr. Ricarda Schmithausen of the University of Bonn. As part of the study, the stables of the farmer were completely renovated and an additional new stable was built. The measures were accompanied by a multi-level disinfection process.

This would have been impossible during the daily routine. The farmer had planned a conversion of his farming system and therefore had previously slaughtered his entire herd and then restocked with pigs. The newly purchased animals were tested randomly to prevent the introduction of new resistant bacteria. The measures were successful, according to Dr. Schmithausen:

"Today, two years after decontamination, the farm is still ESBL-free. MRSA, unfortunately, was a different story: Only two days later another MRSA variant was detected. Presumably, the new MRSA bacteria were introduced by one of the animals. In spite of all tests this cannot be avoided." Nevertheless, the health of the herd has improved significantly. As a result, the use of antibiotics is hardly necessary any more.

MRSA are first and foremost pathogenic for humans and are largely harmless for animals. Previous studies by the University of Bonn have shown that farmers carry multi-resistant bacteria more often than the general population – as a result of their close contact with animals. The colonisation remains mostly asymptomatic for farmers. However, it can be dangerous, if the pathogens are transmitted to immuno-compromised patients in hospitals.

The agronomist and physician Dr. Ricarda Schmithausen defends the farmers. "Most cooperating farmers are very well informed and act very responsibly concerning this issue by implementing high hygiene standards" she emphasizes.

The risk that MRSA and ESBL-E bacteria will spread further can be minimized through normal measures but cannot be reduced to zero. "Hospitals and livestock farms fight the same problems," she says. "Both sides can learn from each other – hospitals could, for example, screen inpatients more consistently for multi-resistant bacteria."

At universities, cooperations between agricultural and medical researchers are rarely found. Bonn is unique in this regard: in its FoodNetCenter, the faculties of Agriculture, Medicine, and Mathematics and Natural Sciences are working together. The following institutes cooperated in this study: the Institute of Animal Sciences (Prof. Brigitte Petersen, Dr. Ricarda Schmithausen) of the University and the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (Prof. Gabriele Bierbaum, Dr. Isabelle Bekeredjian-Ding (now Paul Ehrlich Institute)) and the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (Prof. Dr. Martin Exner), University Hospital.

Publication: Eradication of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterobacteriaceae expressing extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL-E) on a model pig farm; DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01713-15

Contact for media inquiries:

Dr. med. Ricarda Schmithausen, Dipl.-Ing.agr.
Institute for Med. Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology (IMMIP)
University of Bonn
Tel. 0228/287-15952/-16838
E-mail: ricarda.schmithausen@ukb.uni-bonn.de

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-bonn.de/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>