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Carriage frequency, phenotypic, and genotypic characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from dental health-care personnel, patients, and environment

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Hossam Ashour

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There is limited data on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in dental clinics. 1300 specimens from patients, health personnel, and environmental surfaces of a dental clinic in Egypt were tested for MRSA. Antibiotic susceptibility, biofilm formation, Staphylococcal protein A (spa) typing, SCCmec typing, and PCR-based assays were used to detect mecA, mecC, vanA, Panton-Valentine Leukocidin toxin (PVL), and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (tst) genes. Among 34 mecA-positive MRSA isolates, five (14.7%) were PVL-positive, seventeen (50%) were tst-positive, ten (29.4%) were vanA-positive, while none harboured mecC. MRSA hand carriage rates in patients, nurses, and dentists were 9.8%, 6.6%, and 5%. The respective nasal colonization rates were 11.1%, 6.7%, and 9.7%. 1.3% of the environmental isolates were MRSA-positive. Strong and moderate biofilm-forming isolates represented 23.5% and 29.4% of MRSA isolates. 24 MRSA isolates (70.6%) were multi-resistant and 18 (52.9%) harboured SCCmecIV. Among eight spa types, t223 (26.5%), t267 (23.5%), and t14339 (23.5%) were predominant. We noted an alarming genetic relatedness between 7 (20.6%) MRSA isolates and the epidemic EMRSA-15 clone, as well as a combined occurrence of tst and PVL in 3 (8.8%) isolates. Results suggest high MRSA pathogenicity in dental wards highlighting the need for more efficient surveillance/infection control strategies.


Nature Publishing Group

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.