Federation of Veterinarians of Europe
MRSA: Raising awareness is key to control

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a growing problem in both animals and humans and urgent action is required – and such action should be based on a shared responsibility between the veterinary and the public health sector. That was the main conclusion of the recent European conference on MRSA, organised in Brussels on 8 April by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), and supported by TAIEX (DG Enlargement).

It is time to act, confirmed Walter Winding, FVE president. “Raising awareness among veterinarians, doctors and the public at large is key to tackle the problem”. He also recalled that such an approach was “a good illustration of the ‘one health’ concept” as promoted by the FVE.

We seem to have a risk, both in human and veterinary medicine, concluded professor Johanna Fink-Gremmels (Utrecht University), who chaired the conference. “Epidemiological data show a relation between the exposure to antimicrobials and a selection for MRSA and MRSI. Although risk assessment should precede risk management, there will always be levels of uncertainty. We should think about what we can do now and if necessary refine our decisions. MRSA is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg.”

The conference was attended by 190 participants from 34 countries including the United States, and included representatives from the veterinary, medical and farming sectors as well as scientists and policy makers. For full report, please download our newsletter published in May 2008.