Published Articles

Preventing Introduction of Livestock Associated MRSA in a Pig Population – Benefits, Costs, and Knowledge Gaps from the Swedish Perspective (published i PLoS One, May 2015)

Authors: Sören Höjgård  Olov Aspevall  Björn Bengtsson  Sara Haeggman  Maria Lindberg  Kristina Mieziewski  Svante Nilsson  Helle Ericsson Unnerstad  Diana Viske  Helene Wahlström 

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in human, as well as in veterinary medicine. Part of the problem concerns how to respond to the risk presented by animal reservoirs of resistant bacteria with the potential of spreading to humans. One example is livestock associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA). In countries where LA-MRSA is endemic in the pig population, people in contact with pigs have a higher risk of being colonised with LA-MRSA, and persons from this group are subjected to precautionary measures when visiting health care facilities. In the present study, it is assumed that, if LA-MRSA was introduced to the Swedish pig population, the prevalence in the risk groups would be the same as in Denmark or the Netherlands (two countries with low human prevalence that have implemented measures to detect, trace and isolate human LA-MRSA cases and, therefore, have comprehensive data with good coverage regarding prevalence of LA-MRSA), and that similar interventions would be taken in Swedish health care facilities. It is also assumed that the Swedish pig population is free of MRSA or that the prevalence is very low. We analyse if it would be efficient for Sweden to prevent its introduction by testing imported live breeding pigs. Given that quarantining and testing at import will prevent introduction to the pig population, the study shows that the preventive measures may indeed generate a societal net benefit. Benefits are estimated to be between € 870 720 and € 1 233 511, and costs to € 211 129. Still, due to gaps in knowledge, the results should be confirmed when more information become available.


Sören Höjgård

Olov Aspevall

Björn Bengtsson

Sara Haeggman

Maria Lindberg

Kristina Mieziewski

Svante Nilsson

Helle Ericsson Unnerstad

Diana Viske

Helene Wahlström