Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among healthcare workers in a tertiary institution in Nigeria
Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus constitutes part of the growing health problem associated with chemotherapy because they are more difficult to treat and could transfer drug resistance to other bacteria.
Objective: This research work was carried out to find the prevalence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among health workers in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.
Methodology: Two sets of 300 swab samples were collected from the anterior nares of 300 health workers, comprising 82 Laboratory Staff and 218 Clinical staff, and processed without delay. One of each duplicate swab sample was inoculated directly onto chocolate agar, incubated for 24 hours at 37oc while the other swab was used to make a smear for Gram staining. All isolates were identified using standard microbiological methods. Staphylococcus aureus isolates were screened for methicillin resistance using 1μg/ml oxacillin disc in Mueller Hinton agar plate supplemented with 4% sodium chloride.
Results: One hundred and ninety-two (64%) out of 300 were carriers of Staph aureus, while 90 (30%) out of the 300 were positive for MRSA. The prevalence of MRSA among the health workers were Medical Doctors 24%, Medical Laboratory Scientists 34.1%, Nurses 28.8%, Ward Attendants 50.0%, and Cleaners 20.0%.
Conclusion: Over all MRSA prevalence was 30.0%. There was no significant relationship between duration of service and MRSA carriage rate. There was a significant difference in MRSA carriage between those health workers who adhered to universal precautionary measures and those who did not. The prevalence of MRSA among health workers in this study was high thus creating the need for the Health Workers to adhere to universal precautionary measures while carrying out their routine work to avoid being possible sources of nosocomial infections.
Keywords: Contact, exposure, hospitals, oxacillin, patients