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The study analysed epidemiological data collected while handling LA-MRSA in Norwegian herds of pigs, from the first discovery in 2013 until 2015. In addition, the researchers performed genetic testing of bacterial isolates from all individuals identified with LA-MRSA since 2008, and they collected samples from all animals, people and pig farm environments that were affected by outbreaks in 2013 and 2014. These findings show that pig farm workers are the principal source for the introduction of LA-MRSA in Norwegian herds of swine. This transmission route was previously unknown. "This is an important discovery and herds must be monitored if they are to remain free of MRSA, particularly in countries where there is little or no import of live pigs," says Petter Elstrøm, researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The strategy's goal has been to prevent LA-MRSA from being introduced and spread among Norwegian herds, thereby preventing pig herds from becoming a major source of MRSA dissemination to the general population. The strategy has been effective and any further transmission from animals or humans in the affected farms to the general population has not been detected. Recommendations about who should be tested for LA-MRSA before contact with livestock have been issued to prevent transmission from farm workers to pigs. "MRSA rarely causes severe infections among otherwise healthy people but a rising incidence of MRSA in the population will contribute to an increased infection burden for vulnerable patients in the health services," says Elstrøm. Since 2014, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute have continuously monitored all pig herds in Norway, in close collaboration with the swine industry, and this surveillance will continue. "Our strategy of slaughtering pig herds where LA-MRSA bacteria are detected plus farm disinfection was developed in a close collaboration between the authorities and swine industry. It is an excellent example of the "One Health" approach," says Elstrøm. An ongoing study is analysing data on the effect of each control measure within the strategy, but the present article shows that the Norwegian LA-MRSA strategy has so far been a success. Norway is currently the only country that has managed to stop these bacteria from establishing among pig herds, thereby preventing further dissemination to the general population and the health service. In other countries with a low MRSA prevalence, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, the spread of LA-MRSA among pig herds contributed to a significant increase in MRSA prevalence in the population. Explore further: The pig of the future might be free of diseases that can infect people More information: Carl Andreas Grøntvedt et al, MRSA CC398 in humans and pigs in Norway: A "One Health" perspective on introduction and transmission, Clinical Infectious Diseases (2016). DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciw552

Orpetveit I.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Ytrehus B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Vikoren T.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Handeland K.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | And 4 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2011

We report a case of rabies in an Arctic fox. In January 2011 a fox attacked dogs belonging to a meteorological station in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway. Rabies virus was detected in the fox's brain post-mortem. The dogs had been vaccinated against rabies and their antibody levels were protective. Post-exposure prophylaxis was administered to staff at the station. Rabies vaccination is recommended for inhabitants and visitors to the Arctic who may be in contact with wild animals.

Vatn S.,Animalia Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Center | Hektoen L.,Animalia Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Center | Hoyland B.,Animalia Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Center | Reiersen A.,Norwegian Food Safety Authority | And 2 more authors.
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2012

Norway was regarded to be free from footrot until the detection of Dichelobacter nodosus in a flock suffering from severe lameness in 2008. D. nodosus was subsequently shown to be prevalent throughout the country. However, virulent strains were only isolated from sheep in one out of 19 counties. Severe footrot has been diagnoses in a total of 97 sheep flocks. An elimination program was established, based on clinical examination, slaughter of selected animals, foot bathing with zinc sulphate, judicious use of clean pastures and ongoing clinical monitoring, with the aim of eliminating severe footrot. The elimination program has so far been carried out in 35 flocks with severe footrot and preliminary results indicate a success rate of 65-70%. The continued success of the program is important to ensure economic productivity and high standards of animal welfare. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Lund V.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Anderson-Glenna M.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health | Skjevrak I.,Norwegian Food Safety Authority | Skjevrak I.,Statoil | Steffensen I.-L.,Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Journal of Water and Health | Year: 2011

The objectives of this study were to investigate migration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes used for drinking water produced by different production methods, and to evaluate their potential risk for human health and/or influence on aesthetic drinking water quality. The migration tests were carried out in accordance with EN-1420-1, and VOCs were analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The levels of VOC migrating from new PEX pipes were generally low, and decreasing with time of pipe use. No association was found between production method of PEX pipes and concentration of migration products. 2,4-di-tert-butyl phenol and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) were two of the major individual components detected. In three new PEX pipes, MTBE was detected in concentrations above the recommended US EPA taste and odour value for drinking water, but decreased below this value after 5 months in service. However, the threshold odour number (TON) values for two pipes were similar to new pipes even after 1 year in use. For seven chemicals for which conclusions on potential health risk could be drawn, this was considered of no or very low concern. However, odour from some of these pipes could negatively affect drinking water for up to 1 year. © IWA Publishing 2011.

Kahn S.,University Paris Est Creteil | Mylrea G.,University Paris Est Creteil | Bar Yaacov K.,Norwegian Food Safety Authority
OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique | Year: 2012

Animal health is fundamental to efficient animal production and, therefore, to food security and human health. This holds true for both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Although partnership between producers and governmental services is vital for effective animal health programmes, many key activities are directly carried out by governmental services. Noting the need to improve the governance of such services in many developing countries, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), using the OIE Tool for the Evaluation of Performance of Veterinary Services, conducts assessments of Veterinary Services and Aquatic Animal Health Services (AAHS) to help strengthen governance and support more effective delivery of animal health programmes. While good governance and the tools to improve governance in the aquatic animal sector are largely based on the same principles as those that apply in the terrestrial animal sector, there are some specific challenges in the aquatic sector that have a bearing on the governance of services in this area. For example, the aquaculture industry has experienced rapid growth and the use of novel species is increasing; there are important gaps in scientific knowledge on diseases of aquatic animals; there is a need for more information on sustainable production; the level of participation of the veterinary profession in aquatic animal health is low; and there is a lack of standardisation in the training of aquatic animal health professionals. Aquaculture development can be a means of alleviating poverty and hunger in developing countries. However, animal diseases, adverse environmental impacts and food safety risks threaten to limit this development. Strengthening AAHS governance and, in consequence, aquatic animal health programmes, is the best way to ensure a dynamic and sustainable aquaculture sector in future. This paper discusses the specific challenges to AAHS governance and some OIE initiatives to help Member Countries to address them.

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