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Since 2007, livestock-associated meticillin-resistant (LA-MRSA) has become the predominant MRSA clade isolated from humans in the Netherlands. To assess possible temporal changes, we molecularly characterised over 9,000 LA-MRSA isolates submitted from 2003 to 2014 to the Dutch MRSA surveillance. After an initial rapid increase with a peak in 2009 (n = 1,368), the total number of submitted LA-MRSA isolates has been slowly decreasing to 968 in 2014 and over 80% of LA-MRSA belonged to one of three predominant MLVA/-types. Next generation sequencing (n=118) showed that MT569/t034 isolates were genetically more diverse than MT398/t011 and MT572/t108. Concurrent with the decrease in LA-MRSA, fewer people reported having contact with livestock and this was most prominent for people carrying MT569/t034 LA-MRSA. The proportion of LA-MRSA isolated from infection-related materials increased from 6% in 2009, to 13% in 2014 and most of these isolates originated from patients older than 50 years of age. Remarkably, 83% of these patients reported not having contact with livestock. The results reveal an ongoing change in the genotypic and epidemiological characteristics of Dutch LA-MRSA isolated from humans with the emergence of a LA-MRSA subclade independent of livestock exposure, suggesting LA-MRSA starts to resemble non-LA-MRSA in terms of transmissibility and pathogenicity.


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