The rise in prevalence of methicillin resistant staphylococci implicated in clinical infections worldwide continues to elicit interest in nasal colonization rates for these resistant strains. This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin resistant coagulase negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) among apparently healthy students of a tertiary institution in Benin City, Nigeria. A total of 350 students were recruited for the study and nasal swabs were collected alongside demographic data. These swabs were processed microbiologically using standard techniques to recover staphylococci. Antimicrobial susceptibility and methicillin-resistance was determined using a phenotypic method (cefoxitin resistance). A total of 148 (42.3%) of 350 students were culture positive for S. aureus, while 72 (20.6%) were positive for CoNS. Students from Faculty of Dentistry showed the highest prevalence of nasal MRSA (40.0%) and MRCoNS (20.0%). Ofloxacin and gentamicin were the most active antibacterial agents against MRSA with 89.1% and 87.3% respectively been susceptible, while gentamicin was the most active antibiotic against MRCoNS (75.0%). Nasal colonization by MRSA and MRCoNS was unaffected by area of residence and gender (P > 0.05). The nasal carriage rate of MRSA and MRCoNS was 37.2% and 33.3% respectively. The study recommends periodic review of nasal colonization rates among apparently healthy subjects. Regulated use of antimicrobial agents is imperative in order to stem the tide of resistance.
methicillin-resistance, staphylococci, students, antibiotics