Background: The prevalence of community associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus [CA-MRSA] in unknown in Oman.
Methods: Nasal and cell phones swabs were collected from hospital visitors and health-care workers on sterile polyester swabs and directly inoculated onto a mannitol salt agar containing oxacillin, allowing growth of methicillin-resistant microorganisms. Antibiotic susceptibility tests were performed using Kirby Bauer’s disc diffusion method on the isolates. A brief survey questionnaire was requested be filled to ascertain the exposure to known risk factors for CA-MRSA carriage.
Results: Overall, nasal colonization with CA-MRSA was seen in 34 individuals (18%, 95% confidence interval [CI] =12.5%-23.5%), whereas, CA-MRSA was additionally isolated from the cell phone surface in 12 participants (6.3%, 95% CI =5.6%-6.98%). Nasal colonization prevalence with HA-MRSA was seen in 16 individuals (13.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] =7.5%-20.06%), whereas, HA-MRSA was additionally isolated from the cell phone surface in 3 participants (2.6%, 95% CI =1.7-4.54). Antibiotic sensitivity was 100% to linezolid and rifampicin in the CA-MRSA isolates. Antibiotic resistance to vancomycin and clindamycin varied between 9-11 % in the CA-MRSA isolates. There was no statistically significant correlation between CA-MRSA nasal carriage and the risk factors (P>0.05, Chi-square test).
Conclusions: The prevalence of CA-MRSA in the healthy community hospital visitors was 18 % (95% CI, 12.5% to 23.5%) as compared to 13.8% [HA-MRSA] in the hospital health-care staff. In spite of a significant prevalence of CA-MRSA, these strains were mostly sensitive. Recommendation the universal techniques of hand washing, personal hygiene and sanitation are thus warranted.