High incidence rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia

  • Archana Iyer King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Taha Kumosani King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Esam Azhar King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Elie Barbour American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Steve Harakeh Special Infectious Agents Unit – Biosafety Level 3 King Fahad Medical Research Center; King Abdulaziz University
Keywords: MRSA, nosocomial infections, mecA gene, coagulase, RFLP, burn unit

Abstract

Introduction: Nosocomial infections are normally hospital acquired. Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is very common and may be transmitted via a hand-to-nose route. The objective of the present study was to screen healthcare workers for the colonization of their nasal cavities with MRSA.

Methodology: The study group included hospital staff such as nurses, doctors, and technicians. The control group included university students. For isolation, nasal swabs were taken from the volunteers and cultured on mannitol salt agar media selective for S. aureus. Suspected colonies were confirmed by PCR using specific primers for the coagulase and mecA gene. Typing of the coagulase-positive strains was done using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).

Results: The results indicated an incidence rate of 76% among healthcare workers. This is in comparison with students who served as control and were negative for MRSA. Using RFLP, four different types of MRSA were confirmed.

Conclusions: The results of this study are alarming. Effective control measures must be formulated and implemented to avoid indiscriminate use of antimicrobials and the spread of these infectious agents in the region.

Published
2014-03-13
How to Cite
1.
Iyer A, Kumosani T, Azhar E, Barbour E, Harakeh S (2014) High incidence rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. J Infect Dev Ctries 8:372-378. doi: 10.3855/jidc.3589
Section
Brief Original Articles