Research Topic

Livestock-associated Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA)

About this Research Topic

We believe this Research Topic will serve as a useful guide for researchers, clinicians in both the human and veterinary field, as well as government policy advisors, providing scientific evidence and advancement of knowledge beyond the current juncture, as well as generate new ideas for livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) diagnosis, prevention, treatment, vigilance and control.

In the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of bacterial pathogens resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents. Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are considering infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria as an emergent global disease and a major public health problem across the one health agenda. In 2017, the WHO included methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in its priority list of 12 antibiotic-resistant bacteria, for which research and development of new and effective antibiotics are needed.

Since the emergence of particular lineages of epidemic MRSA in human healthcare facilities and community settings in the 1990s, there has been a significant increase in the occurrence of infections caused by this multi-drug resistant pathogen across the world over the last decade, with a notable impact on occupational health. This phenomenon has raised considerable concern as infections caused by MRSA have become increasingly difficult to treat with a marked increase in the need for vancomycin , an agent previously reserved as treatment of last resort. More recently, different types of MRSA have emerged within a host-specific lineage associated with livestock and companion animals, able to be transmitted to humans, and with a possible environmental reservoir. These new lineages of MRSA, grouping within clonal complexes 398 and 9, have been designated as LA-MRSA. The transmission of CC398 from livestock to farmers and veterinarians has been an area of concern which has been compounded by the fact that LA-MRSA has been isolated from people without contact with livestock. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and other molecular tools have been used to establish genetic changes that CC398 has undergone as it adapted to colonise animals, such as loss of human associated virulence factors and acquiring new characteristics like the mecA gene. The niche specific adaptation of LA-MRSA is further exemplified by presence of the avian adapted prophage often present in isolates from poultry. The use of WGS to determine the phylogenetics and evolution of LA-MRSA in livestock and humans worldwide has been beneficial to advance knowledge gaps regarding the magnitude and dynamic nature of its spread and niche adaptation, although more data is required to get a true understanding of its epidemiology and transmission, and for implementation of policies targeting its control both at the farm level and in humans.

This Research Topic welcomes manuscripts addressing the fundamental science of, and future perspectives on, LA-MRSA.
We particularly welcome studies focused on:

• Prevalence of LA-MRSA in livestock, companion animals, humans or food.
• Transmission and colonization of LA-MRSA in humans and animals
• LA-MRSA infections
• Risk assessment on LA-MRSA
• Pathogenicity and host adaptation of LA-MRSA
• Genomic analysis of LA-MRSA lineages
• Antimicrobial resistances and virulence characterisation of LA-MRSA
• Zoonotic risks of LA-MRSA


We welcome Mini-Reviews, Opinions, Perspectives, Hypothesis, and Original Research articles.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the specialty and field to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Manuscripts discovered during any stage of peer review to be outside of the scope may be transferred to a suitable section or field, or withdrawn from review.


Keywords: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Zoonosis, Livestock, Pets, Humans, Food, at risk occupations e.g. farmers, veterinarians, butchers, abattoir workers, ST398, CC398, CC9.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

We believe this Research Topic will serve as a useful guide for researchers, clinicians in both the human and veterinary field, as well as government policy advisors, providing scientific evidence and advancement of knowledge beyond the current juncture, as well as generate new ideas for livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) diagnosis, prevention, treatment, vigilance and control.

In the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of bacterial pathogens resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents. Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are considering infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria as an emergent global disease and a major public health problem across the one health agenda. In 2017, the WHO included methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in its priority list of 12 antibiotic-resistant bacteria, for which research and development of new and effective antibiotics are needed.

Since the emergence of particular lineages of epidemic MRSA in human healthcare facilities and community settings in the 1990s, there has been a significant increase in the occurrence of infections caused by this multi-drug resistant pathogen across the world over the last decade, with a notable impact on occupational health. This phenomenon has raised considerable concern as infections caused by MRSA have become increasingly difficult to treat with a marked increase in the need for vancomycin , an agent previously reserved as treatment of last resort. More recently, different types of MRSA have emerged within a host-specific lineage associated with livestock and companion animals, able to be transmitted to humans, and with a possible environmental reservoir. These new lineages of MRSA, grouping within clonal complexes 398 and 9, have been designated as LA-MRSA. The transmission of CC398 from livestock to farmers and veterinarians has been an area of concern which has been compounded by the fact that LA-MRSA has been isolated from people without contact with livestock. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and other molecular tools have been used to establish genetic changes that CC398 has undergone as it adapted to colonise animals, such as loss of human associated virulence factors and acquiring new characteristics like the mecA gene. The niche specific adaptation of LA-MRSA is further exemplified by presence of the avian adapted prophage often present in isolates from poultry. The use of WGS to determine the phylogenetics and evolution of LA-MRSA in livestock and humans worldwide has been beneficial to advance knowledge gaps regarding the magnitude and dynamic nature of its spread and niche adaptation, although more data is required to get a true understanding of its epidemiology and transmission, and for implementation of policies targeting its control both at the farm level and in humans.

This Research Topic welcomes manuscripts addressing the fundamental science of, and future perspectives on, LA-MRSA.
We particularly welcome studies focused on:

• Prevalence of LA-MRSA in livestock, companion animals, humans or food.
• Transmission and colonization of LA-MRSA in humans and animals
• LA-MRSA infections
• Risk assessment on LA-MRSA
• Pathogenicity and host adaptation of LA-MRSA
• Genomic analysis of LA-MRSA lineages
• Antimicrobial resistances and virulence characterisation of LA-MRSA
• Zoonotic risks of LA-MRSA


We welcome Mini-Reviews, Opinions, Perspectives, Hypothesis, and Original Research articles.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the specialty and field to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Manuscripts discovered during any stage of peer review to be outside of the scope may be transferred to a suitable section or field, or withdrawn from review.


Keywords: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Zoonosis, Livestock, Pets, Humans, Food, at risk occupations e.g. farmers, veterinarians, butchers, abattoir workers, ST398, CC398, CC9.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

05 March 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

05 March 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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