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Background and objectives: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a concern in healthcare systems. The occurrence of livestock-associated MRSA is a common phenomenon in pigs and a spread via an airborne route was assumed.
The aim of our ongoing study is to identify the dose for a successful airborne colonization of pigs with MRSA ST398 and to evaluate the impact of predisposing factors on MRSA colonization.
Materials and methods: For this, we established an experimental aerogen infection model for pigs using an aerosol chamber and we following investigated the impact of a decreased systemic immunity on the La-MRSA infection rate.
Results: All animals were colonised after the exposure with a dosage of 104 cfu/m3), followed by a dropping number of colonized animals until day 14 after infection. In contrast, all animals infected with 106 cfu/m3 were MRSA-positive for the entire screening period (21 days). Conclusion: These data indicate that an airborne route of MRSA exists. Moreover, our current data show that a general immunosuppression of piglets does not significantly influence a La-MRSA colonization of weaned piglets.