Investigation of Large animal associated MRSA in the UK pig herd

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Veterinary Medicine


Theme: Agriculture and Food Security

The proposed study seeks to perform cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys looking for LA-MRSA (live-stock associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) in the UK pig herd. MRSA in an important cause of human disease, w ith the potential to cause a range of infections from minor skin disease to life-threatening bacteraemias. The research will use conventional sampling and microbiological techniques to identify MRSA isolates. Next generation sequencing of isolates will be used to undertake phylogenetic (epidemiological studies) and identify transmission events. Data will also be used to undertake a farm-level case control study to look for risk factors associated with LA-MRSA presence, such as antibiotic use, biosecurity, and use of zinc and copper as growth promotors. The research will (a) provide baseline levels of prevalence to enable the effectiveness of control strategies to be measured, (b) identify factors associated with LA-MRSA infection to help inform control measures, (c) develop models describing potential transmission pathways which will be of more general value in determining biosecurity risks, and (d) validation of optimised sustainable LA-MRSA monitoring protocols for UK pig farms. The non-academic partner is part of one of the largest pork producers in the UK, and provides the administrative, field and veterinary support to over 250 pig farms, located primarily in East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the South West.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011194/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1799706 Studentship BB/M011194/1 01/10/2016 30/04/2017 Florence Margaret Slater