The first systematic investigation of Danish mink farms has revealed there are serious problems regarding the resistant bacteria MRSA CC398 that can infect humans.
It is well documented that MRSA has been an issue at Danish pig farms, but the problem has also now extended to the nation’s mink farms, where every fifth premises is struggling with the bacteria, according to a new report from the food product authority Fødevarestyrelsen.
“We had a premonition that we would also find MRSA at mink farms,” Stig Mellergaard, a spokesperson for Fødevarestyrelsen, told DR Nyheder.
“We know that the majority of pigs are infected with MRSA, so our best guess is that the mink have been infected via their feed. However, it’s something we need to take a closer look at.”
MRSA, MRSA me!
The Fødevarestyrelsen report documented that MRSA was found at 11 of the 50 mink farms tested at the end of 2015.
Considering that Denmark has around 1,400 mink farms, the report could have far-reaching consequences for the farms. The Danish mink farm advocacy organisation Danske Minkavlere intends to better inform its members about preventative measures to reduce the spread of MRSA.
Some 1,300 Danes were diagnosed with the MRSA CC398 bacteria last year and seven have died since 2012. Back in 2006, not one person in Denmark had been diagnosed with MRSA CC398, but today the authorities believe that upwards of 12,000 Danes have been infected.
It’s dire news for the billion-kroner mink industry in Denmark, which has also been under siege from a potential outbreak of the feared and highly contagious Mink Plasmacytosis late last year.