Livestock-associated, antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage and recent skin and soft tissue infection among industrial HOG operation workers

Maya Nadimpalli, Jill R. Stewart, Elizabeth Pierce, Nora Pisanic, David C Love, Devon Hall, Jesper Larsen, Karen C Carroll, Tsigereda Tekle, Trish M. Perl, Christopher David Heaney

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Swine production work is a risk factor for nasal carriage of livestock-associated (LA-) Staphylococcus aureus and also for skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI). However, whether LA-S. aureus nasal carriage is associated with increased risk of SSTI remains unclear. We aimed to examine S. aureus nasal carriage and recent (≤3 months prior to enrollment) SSTI symptoms among industrial hog operation (IHO) workers and their household contacts. IHO workers and their household contacts provided a nasal swab and responded to a questionnaire assessing self-reported personal and occupational exposures and recent SSTI symptoms. Nasal swabs were analyzed for S. aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), multidrug-resistant-S. aureus (MDRSA), absence of scn (livestock association), and spa type. S. aureus with at least one indicator of LA was observed among 19% of 103 IHO workers and 6% of 80 household members. Prevalence of recent SSTI was 6% among IHO workers and 11% among 54 minor household members (0/26 adult household members reported SSTI). Among IHO workers, nasal carriers of MDRSA and scn-negative S. aureus were 8.8 (95% CI: 1.8, 43.9) and 5.1 (95% CI: 1.2, 22.2) times as likely to report recent SSTI as non-carriers, respectively. In one household, both an IHO worker and child reported recent SSTI and carried the same S. aureus spa type (t4976) intranasally. Prevalence of scn-negative S. aureus (PR: 5.0, 95% CI: 1.2, 21.4) was elevated among IHO workers who reported never versus always wearing a face mask at work. Although few SSTI were reported, this study of IHO workers and their household contacts is the first to characterize a relation between nasal carriage of antibiotic-resistant LA-S. aureus and SSTI. The direction and temporality of this relation and IHO workers' use of face masks to prevent nasal carriage of these bacteria warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0165713
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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