Methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureusnasal carriage between healthy students of medical and nonmedical universities

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Background:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a challenge for public health, and community-acquired (CA) infections seem to be increasing among people in different areas.Methods:A total of 700 healthy student volunteers residing in dormitories of universities in Urmia, Iran, were enrolled in this study. After identification of the isolates, antibiotic susceptibility, presence of mecA and pvl genes, and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing were evaluated.Results:Nasal screening identified 137 (19.6%) carriers of S aureus, and 18 (13.14%) were MRSA isolates. The antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of isolates revealed high resistance to penicillin (93.4%). All isolates were sensitive to vancomycin. The SCCmec typing showed that most MRSA strains belonged to SCCmec type IV (n = 14; 77.8%). Only 1 (5.56%) MRSA isolates carried the pvl gene.Conclusions:Our findings revealed the relatively high frequency of S aureus nasal carriers and the advent of multidrug resistance among these isolates. Most MRSA isolates were SCCmec type IV; the transfer of such MRSA strains from carriers to other individuals in crowded living conditions such as dormitories can act as a risk factor for outbreak of CA MRSA and is a serious threat for the study groups.

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