Workpackage 3: Project IP5

Title of the project: Studies and development of models for pig-to-pig and pig-to-human spread of MRSA on farms


Contact IP5

Prof. Dr. Ing. agr. Thomas SelhorstProf. Dr. Ing. agr. Thomas Selhorst (principal investigator)
Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)
Fachgruppe Epidemiologie, Statistik und mathematische Modellierung
Max-Dohrn-Straße 8-10
D–10589 Berlin

Phone +49 (0) 30 18412 2083
E-mail: thomas.selhorst[at]


In this project we will develop models describing the propagation dynamics of MRSA within farms. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) will be used to record within-farm mixing of swine on a representative farm. The technique will allow us to retrieve very detailed temporal data on contact patterns among individual members (pig-to-pig contact network) of a herd. Based on these findings, the standard assumption of random mixing can be assessed and corrections applied. Furthermore, it has already been demonstrated that the availability of detailed knowledge about the contact structure will allow for the implementation of targeted control and mitigation strategies which are more efficient than those based on a random mixing approach. But we will not just “RFID-tag” animals (pig-to-pig contacts) but also the staff that may get in contact (pig-to-human contacts) with the pigs during their stay on the farm. This will make it possible to study the MRSA transmission from animals to humans and vice versa.