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Original Article

SJEMed. 2020; 1(2): 75-82

Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus contamination in ambulances in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Fadi Jandali Qara, Shadi A. Zakai, Anas F. Hamam.

Background: In recent years, multiple reports of an increase in the emergence of community-acquired methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA (CA-MRSA) have arisen. A potential infection risk may be present if a patient were to be transported by an emergency medical services (EMS) unit that previously transported a patient harboring CA-MRSA. We, therefore, sought to investigate whether there is a certain prevalence of CA-MRSA contamination among ambulances operating in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: This was an observational, cross-sectional survey study involving ambulances (types I to IV) in service in Jeddah from September to November of 2018. Five areas were chosen to be swabbed in each ambulance enrolled in our study.
Results: A total of 425 samples were collected from 85 ambulances operating in three different health care sectors. Our results showed the overall contamination to be 338 samples (79.5%), with the highest contamination rate found on the stretcher grips and the blood pressure cuff sites (both n = 70 samples; 16.47%). Overall, only three samples yielded S. aureus bacteria, with none being MRSA.
Conclusion: Even though we have an overall bacterial contamination rate of 79.5% in the areas surveyed on EMS ambulances, it is not clear that this contamination has a pathological potential to cause disease. The failure to isolate a single MRSA sample from the 425 taken suggests there is no MRSA problem.

Key words: Ambulance, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, emergency medical services. 

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The articles in Bibliomed are open access articles licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
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