Nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among surgical unit staff

Jpn J Infect Dis. 2009 May;62(3):228-9.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a problem within healthcare organizations and in the community. The aims of this study were to identify the prevalence of S. aureus in the anterior nares of surgical unit staff, to analyse their antibiogram with special reference to methicillin resistance, and to compare the isolates among surgical unit staff and in relation to the wards where they worked. Sterile swabs were used to collect the samples from the anterior nares of 100 healthcare workers working in 5 surgical wards who satisfied rigid inclusion and exclusion criteria. Standard procedures were followed for isolation, identification, and antibiotic sensitivity testing. S. aureus carrier status was observed in 13 individuals, of whom 2 (15.4%) were resistant to methicillin. All the isolates of S. aureus were multidrug-resistant but sensitive to vancomycin and bacitracin. One of the 13 was resistant to linezolid. Sixty-three of the staff were carriers of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. The presence of methicillin resistance may cause problems in hospital infection control programs and may indicate emerging issues. This study suggests the need for periodic screening of hospital personnel in order to monitor trends and take steps to treat carriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Medical Staff, Hospital*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Nasal Cavity / microbiology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Prevalence
  • Staphylococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Surgery Department, Hospital*