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Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization rates among healthcare workers, clinical students and community in the eastern region, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
Carriers of Staphylococcus aureus have an important role in its dissemination. The colonization rates of S. aureus in anterior nose nares from 210 healthy volunteers (70 from the non-hospital adult personnel in the community, 68 from clinical students and 72 from healthcare workers “HCWs” in 6 hospitals) in the eastern region, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia were determined. The percentage of nasal carriers of S. aureus in the community was 37%, whereas it was 26% in both clinical students and HCWs groups. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) colonization was 9% and it was only isolated from clinical students and HCWs. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that 90.5% of the 63 strains isolated from all volunteers were ampicillin resistant. Three multi-resistant strains to three antibiotics or more were identified; two from HCWs (one of them is MRSA), one from clinical students and none from the community group. No resistance was detected to linezolid and vancomycin in all isolates. Coagulase negative staphylococci carriage was 87% in all our volunteers and was highest in the HCWs (93%). In conclusion, the study shows the need for a periodic screening of both the community and hospital personnel to adopt strategies for treating S. aureus carriers; specifically MRSA carriers; hence overcome acquiring S. aureus infections.