Saudi medical journal

Prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization among medical students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

PMID 26108584


To identify Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage status among medical students during their clinical rotations. This cross-sectional study detected the prevalence of MRSA among medical students at King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, using molecular approaches. Nasal swabs were collected from 150 internship and sixth-year medical students between September 2014 and January 2015, and compared with the control group of 32 third-year medical students who were not exposed to clinical work. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening was performed to identify Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) nucgene, and an additional PCR was performed on S. aureus positive samples to detect the presence of mecA gene. Out of 150 students screened, 38 were nasal carriers of S. aureus. The prevalence of methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) carriers was 18.7% (n=28), whereas 10 students (6.7%) were mecA-positive, representing MRSA carriers. Interns carry MRSA more than 6th year students and students who were not exposed to clinical work (p less than 0.05), while MSSA is found more in students who were not exposed to clinical work (p less than 0.01). We found MRSA carriers among medical students at KAU, which showed a possible contribution of this group to transmit infection to hospitalized patients. Medical students must receive sufficient knowledge regarding control measures to avoid spread of this infection in hospitals.