Occurrence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among the Health Workers of Rizal Provincial Hospital and Characterization for the Presence of luks-lukf PVL Gene
Joland A. San Juan, Daniel Brian G. Cabugao,
Bernard Ray F. Dabbay, and Esperanza C. Cabrera*
Biology Department and The Center for Natural Science and Ecological Research (CENSER) De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major problem in the hospital as well as in the community setting. The resistance of MRSA to all β-lactam antibiotics, the most commonly prescribed group of antimicrobials for staphylococcal infections, poses a significant limitation on the treatment of diseases caused by this multiple drug resistant strain. The study determined the prevalence of MRSA among the hands and nasal cavities of hospital workers of the Rizal Provincial Hospital, their susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, and the occurrence of mecA gene and luks-lukf Panton-Valentine leukocidin virulence gene among the isolates. Methicillin resistance was determined using oxacillin and cefoxitin. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from the nose of 26 (22.61%), from the hand of 1 (0.87%), and from both the hand and nose of 3 (2.61%) of the sampled 115 hospital health workers, giving an overall prevalence of S. aureus of 26.09%. Among the 30 health workers found to have S. aureus, 5 or 16.67% of them were found to have MRSA, with 4 health workers carrying the strain in the nasal cavity, and 1 health worker carrying the strain both on the hand and nasal cavity. The overall MRSA carriage rate is 4.35% among all the subjects sampled. All MRSA isolates were susceptible to doxycyclin, gentamicin, vancomycin, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, and linezolid. mecA gene was found in all MRSA confirming their methicillin resistance, while the luks-lukf Panton-Valentine leukocidin virulence gene was present in 50% of the 6 MRSA isolated. The results of the study identified the presence of a significant yet easily overlooked source for transmission of MRSA, which may also carry additional virulence genes, in the local setting - the hospital workers themselves. This underscores the need for the consistent review and strict implementation of the hospital policy on infection control, such as mandatory requirement for thorough hand washing by hospital workers before and after handling each patient, which remains the cornerstone of prevention.
Nosocomial infections or hospital-acquired infections, defined as infections that become evident 48 hours after admission, comprise one of the major problems in health care. These infections are caused by opportunistic microorganisms, most often those that survive antibiotic treatments, which manage to infect vulnerable hospitalized patients . . . . . . . . . .
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