Pigs raise their ugly heads.. again

The first reported cases of the ST398 strain prevalent in dutch swine have been recorded in adults in Scotland reports The Daily Mail. Formerly The Soil Association have reported on this in 2007 and produced a report that makes for interesting reading. The Mail amongst others reports that these cases in humans in Scotland are not related to contact with pigs (well not living ones anyway) and it will be interesting from an epidemiological angle to determine where this strain was acquired from. Until now cases in humans have normally been related to contact with livestock. There is at least one report of a hospital cluster of colonsation in staff with this strain, which is non-typable and commonly resistant to Tetracycline (Oxytetracycine is commonly used in pigs in Holland).

Could the food chain be a vehicle? High standards of food hygiene should be adequate to reduce the risk of transmission from meat to a minmal level and as long as hand washing takes place after handling raw meat and thorough cooking takes place then there should be no problem. As ever, high standards of hygiene are our protection from disease.

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