Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis Is Part of the Skin Flora on the Hands of Both Healthy Individuals and Hospital Workers.

PMID 27524479


Staphylococcus epidermidis, a major skin flora on hands, acts as a reservoir of various antimicrobial resistance determinants including staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) and contributes to multidrug resistance for S. aureus. The aim of this study was understanding the characteristics of commensal S. epidermidis on the hands of hospital workers and healthy individuals. A total of 23 hospital workers (physicians, nurses, and hospital pharmacists), 13 community pharmacists, and 24 healthy individuals (students) were studied. Commensal bacteria on hands were recovered using a glove-juice method. For methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis (MRSE), we performed SCCmec typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and determined the antimicrobial susceptibility. The detection rates of MRSE in community pharmacists (92.3%) and students (87.5%) were higher than those in hospital workers (66.7 to 81.8%). SCCmec type IV strains were predominant in both hospital workers and students. PFGE analysis strongly suggested that the MRSE of hospital workers and students were normal inhabitants of each subject. The antimicrobial resistance rates and levels in MRSE of hospital workers were higher than those of students. Our findings showed that MRSE was frequently colonized on the hands of healthy individuals as well as hospital workers.