Objective: To find Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in health care workers in comparison to general population.
Methodology: It was a cross-sectional study done at Kulsum International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan from September to December 2017. A total of 423 subjects (322 healthy controls and 101 health care workers) were screened for MRSA after obtaining their verbal consent. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect demographic information including age, gender, location (OPD, Inpatient or ICU). Using premoistened sterile cotton swabs, specimens were collected from the anterior nares and standard microbiological methods were used for the identification of MRSA. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS 20.The risk factor and association with MRSA colonization was calculated using the Chi-square test
Results: MRSA screening for nasal carriage was positive in 20 (19.8%) health care workers. Healthy subjects showed that 18 (5.6%) individuals were positive (p=000004). Among health care workers, location wise, MRSA was mostly positive in surgical ICU workers i.e., 8 (53%) followed by Medical ICU i.e., 6 (20%) and samples from CCU, private ward patients and Emergency department were negative.
Conclusions: MRSA nasal carriage is highly prevalent in health care workers; among them high-risk are those who are working in intensive care units. It is recommended that all health care workers, especially those working in ICUs, should be screened for presence of MRSA. Early detection and treatment for decolonization will reduce risk of MRSA infection in the patients.
Health Care Worker, MRSA, Community acquired infection.