Workpackage 1: Project IP9

Title of the project: Studies on acquisition of MRSA of primary animal origin, in particular livestock by humans, adaptation to humans and human to human transmission


Contact IP9

Dr. med. vet. Christiane Cuny Dr. med. vet. Christiane Cuny
Robert Koch Institute
Burgstr. 37
D-38855 Wernigerode
Postbox 650261
D-13302 Berlin

Phone +49 3943-679246
Fax +49 3943-679317
E-mail: cunych[at]

Other Contactpersons:

Dr. Tim Eckmanns
Robert Koch Institute
Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Surveillance Unit
Phone +49 30 18754 3485
E-mail: eckmannst[at]


This IP focusses on evaluating the following tasks:

  1. The acquisition of LA-MRSA by humans with occupational contact to livestock on farms is well documented. However, it is mostly unknown whether MRSA can also be acquired by regular exposition of kitchen personnel to contaminated meat. Another possibility of exposition may exist for humans living in close vicinity to farms from which MRSA are exhausted (emission). In this IP we will analyse both questions by targeted prospective point prevalence studies.
  2. LA-MRSA CC398 is now also emerging in horses outside veterinary hospitals due to ambulant veterinary care. We will assess the risk for owners and users by a targeted prospective study.
  3. In order to develop prevention recommendations for the risk group of veterinarians a longitudinal study will assess risk factors for MRSA carriage and infection. This will include the domain of hygiene habits and antibiotic prescription practices.
  4. Although the proportion of LA-MRSA among MRSA from nosocomial and community-acquired deep-seated infections seems low so far in most German regions, the most probable emergence of more human-adapted subpopulations with capacity for transmission among humans will be assessed.

Characterization of isolates derived in these epidemiological studies (molecular typing, virulence and antibiotic resistance-associated genes, markers for more rapid and easy-to-perform diagnostic).