Original Article

Investigation of Nasal Staphylococcus Aureus Carriage in Intensive Care Unit and Operating Room Staff

  • Mehmet Uluğ

Received Date: 16.01.2012 Accepted Date: 28.03.2012 Med Bull Haseki 2012;50(2):48-52


In this study, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus in our hospital staff, and antibiotic susceptibility of these strains to methicillin and some other antibiotics.


In this study, involving personnel working in operating room, neonatal and intensive care units of our hospital, nose cavity swab samples were taken from 81 subjects using cotton swabs soaked into serum physiologic. Single colony inoculation was performed on 5% sheep blood agar. The samples were incubated at 37oC for 24 hours. The Catalase and coagulase tests were performed on the strains which showed gram-positive cocci. We evaluated antimicrobial susceptibility of all S. aureus strains to oxacillin and several other antibiotics by disc diffusion method according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) recommendations..


Nasal S. aureus carrier was detected in 21 subjects (25.9%). Among all S. aureus isolated from nasal area, nine (11.1%) were methicillin-resistance and 12 (14.8%) were methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. When the occupation was considered, the carriage rates were 20.8% among doctors, 25% among auxiliary health-care workers and 29.7% among health-care workers other than doctors. There was no significant difference in carriage rate between these groups (p=0.239). The isolated strains showed no resistance to mupirocin and teicoplanin. Intranasal administration of mupirocin to all carriers for five days resulted in elimination of staphylococci with a success rate of 100%.


According to these results, we assume that the nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant S. aureus is not an important issue in our hospital. However, it was concluded that topical mupirocin is an effective agent to be used securely in the elimination of S. aureus colonization in nasal carriers.

Keywords: Nasal carriage, hospital staff, mupirocin, Staphylococcus aureus

Full Text (Turkish)