Microbial handflora of nursing services workers in a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital

  • EI Ikeh
  • G Yakeu


A study of the bacterial flora on the hands of 100 randomly selected nursing services workers comprising 56 nurses and 44 ward-maids working in Medical, Surgical, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatric wards in addition to Intensive Care Units and Special Care Baby units of Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria were carried out. The samples were inoculated onto dried Blood agar, MacConkey agar, Mannitol salt agar and Muellar-Hinton agar plates and incubated aerobically at 37°C for 18-24 hours. Overall, 38% of the cultures yielded growth, while 52% of the nurses yielded growth as against 75% of the ward-maids. The bacterial isolates are Staphylococcus aureus (27%), Coagulase negative Staphylococci (20%), Bacillus alvei (17%), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (4%). Out of the S. aureus isolates, 92.6% of them were methicillin-resistant (MRSA), and the highest prevalence (100%) was recorded in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology wards. The Ophthalmology ward, Intensive care unit and Special Care Baby Unit had no MRSA. The bacterial density ranged from 2 to 20105 CFU. This study has demonstrated that more stringent measures should be taken towards proper hand-washing so as to at least reduce the incidence of nosocomial infections, with the attendant consequences in our hospital.

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 50(1) 2006: 12-14

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eISSN: 0189-0964