Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE) are increasingly found in animals and humans in Finland. Livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) is highly prevalent in Finnish pigs at slaughter and its proportion of human MRSA cases has reached around 3% in recent years. LA-MRSA is known to be a risk for people working in close contact with animals such as farmers and veterinarians. In Finland, ESBL producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are linked to a rising number of human cases. International studies have shown that ESBL-PE prevalence is higher in farmers than the rest of the population.
The aim of the project is to study the prevalence of MRSA and ESBL-PE in Finnish veterinarians. In addition, the study investigates risk factors such as animal contacts, traveling, hospitalization and antibiotic treatment as well as hygiene practices of Finnish veterinarians.
The study has been funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund.