Nasal Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus among Paramedical Students in Alexandria and Evaluation of Dry Spot Staphytect Latex Kit as a Rapid Screening Method for Staphylococcus aureus
Background: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a common cause of nosocomial and community acquired infections worldwide. Nasal carriage of S. aureus acts as an endogenous reservoir for clinical infections in the colonized individual and also as a source of cross-colonization for community spread. Infections caused by S. aureus range clinically from minor skin infections to severe life threatening infections; with mortality rates ranging from 6 to 40 %.Treatment of staphylococcal infections has now become more challenging with emergence of methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains; which are often also multidrug-resistant.
Objectives: The present study was conducted to screen for the prevalence rate of nasal carriage of S. aureus among paramedical students studying at the Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt. The study also aimed at studying the validity of Dry Spot Staphytect Latex Kit as a rapid screening test for identification of S. aureus.
Methods: Nasal swabs were collected from 100 volunteer students over a period of three months (February-April 2015). Swabs were cultured both on blood agar and mannitol salt agar and all isolates that were confirmed microscopically and biochemically as S. aureus were tested for antibiotic sensitivity using modified Kirby Bauer technique. Dry Spot Staphytect Latex Kit was evaluated as a rapid method for identification of S. aureus, setting the positive result of tube coagulase test as a gold standard.
Results: The nasal carriage rate of S. aureus detected was 34%, 18 % of which were MRSA strains. The highest level of sensitivity to antibiotics among S. aureus isolates was recorded for vancomycin and mupirocin, (97.1%) each. Regarding MRSA strains, 100% were sensitive to mupirocin and 100% were resistant to oxacillin. Dry Spot Staphytect Latex Kit had a sensitivity of 97.06 %, a specificity of 96.97 %, a positive predictive value of 94.29 %, a negative predictive value of 98.46 % and an accuracy of 97 % in rapid identification of S. aureus.
Conclusion: Paramedical university students are a high risk group for nasal carriage of S. aureus and MRSA. Dry Spot Staphytect latex test is recommended for use as an efficient rapid, sensitive, specific and accurate screening test for S. aureus and MRSA.
Key words: S. aureus, MRSA, nasal carriage, paramedical students, Dry Spot Staphytect Latex Kit
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