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Category Press Release
Publish Date 4/26/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the Risk to Livestock Workers
Introduction EMSL Analytical, the nation's premier environmental testing laboratory, provides laboratory testing to identify MRSA, C. diff, and other superbugs from surfaces and environmental samples to confirm the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection efforts.

Ann Arbor, NJ, April 26th, 2021

A new study performed by researchers at one of Michigan’s universities examined the risk levels associated with livestock workers contracting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). According to the article published to the university’s newsletter, the researchers analyzed 15 years of published literature and found an elevated risk to those in occupations dealing with livestock. In fact, workers from swine farms were 15 times more likely to be carrying the bacteria than those not in the livestock industry.

MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that can be found on a person’s skin or in their nose. For those who develop an infection, it is resistant to many antibiotics which make it difficult to treat. Traditionally, MRSA infections were associated with hospitalization or other healthcare-associated risk factors. In more recent years, an increasing number of people who lack traditional healthcare-associated risk factors have also developed infections. These people appear to have community-associated (CA) infections, also referred to as CA-MRSA.

This latest research highlights the exposure risks associated with livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA). LA-MRSA was first recognized in the 2000s as a zoonotic disease, which means it passes from animals to humans. LA-MRSA is a potential concern for workers that handle swine, cattle, poultry, and horses. It is also a possible hazard for veterinarians.

“While this latest research examined carriage rates, which analyzed the people who carry the superbug and are not necessarily infected by it, it still showed there is considerable risk to hundreds of thousands of people that work with livestock,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Access to personal protective equipment (PPE), personal hygiene, and effective cleaning and disinfection procedures in the livestock industry, just as in health care and community settings, are vital for mitigating the spread of MRSA and many other superbugs.”

With laboratories across the United States and Canada, EMSL Analytical provides environmental and surface testing for MRSA and other microbial pathogens. Testing is instrumental for confirming cleaning and disinfection procedures and can also be helpful for pinpointing the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred.

For more information about MRSA and microbial testing or other environmental, health, and safety testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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