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 Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
16.07.2018 | UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

nachricht Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>