Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers


Prevalence of types of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in turkey flocks and personnel attending the animals

A. RICHTERa1, R. STINGa1, C. POPPa2, J. RAUa1, B.-A. TENHAGENa3 c1, B. GUERRAa3, H. M. HAFEZa4 and A. FETSCHa3

a1 Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt Stuttgart, Fellbach, Germany

a2 Tierseuchenkasse Baden-Württemberg, Geflügelgesundheitsdienst Stuttgart, Fellbach, Germany

a3 Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, Abteilung Biologische Sicherheit, Berlin, Germany

a4 Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Geflügelkrankheiten, Berlin, Germany


Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) have been isolated from a number of livestock species and persons involved in animal production. We investigated the prevalence of LA-MRSA in fattening turkeys and people living on farms that house fattening turkeys. Eighteen (90%) of 20 investigated flocks were positive for MRSA, and on 12 of the farms 22 (37·3%) of 59 persons sampled were positive for MRSA. People with frequent access to the stables were more likely to be positive for MRSA. In most flocks MRSA that could be assigned to clonal complex (CC) 398 were detected. In five flocks MRSA of spa-type t002 that is not related to CC398 were identified. Moreover, other methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. were detected on 11 farms and in eight people working on the farms.

(Received August 11 2011)

(Revised January 04 2012)

(Accepted January 06 2012)

(Online publication February 10 2012)

Key words

  • Livestock;
  • methicillin resistance;
  • occupational health;
  • turkeys;
  • zoonoses


c1 Author for correspondence: PD Dr. Bernd-Alois Tenhagen, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, Diedersdorfer Weg 1, D-12277 Berlin, Germany. (Email: Bernd-Alois.Tenhagen@bfr.bund.de)