MRSA Prevalence

MRSA Nasal Carriage Is Common Among Health Care Workers

All health care workers should be screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage before leaving a hospital setting in order to lessen the risk for community infection.


These were the findings of a new research paper by Drs Rukhsana Manzoor from Kulsum International Hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan, and Muhammad Sajid Rafiq Abbasi from Federal General Hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan.



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The paper was presented on Monday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases 2018.


To better understand the prevalence of MRSA nasal carriage and, therefore, the potential for the spread of disease in the community, Drs Manzoor and Abbasi conducted a cross-sectional study at Kulsum International Hospital.


From September 2017 to December 2017, 322 healthy individuals and 101 health care workers were evaluated for MRSA nasal carriage. Specimens were collected from all participants via premoistened, sterile cotton swabs. Health care workers completed standardized questionnaires, which included questions about age, sex, and department.


Results showed that health care workers are much more likely to have MRSA nasal carriage, with 19.8% of health care workers and 5.6% of community-dwelling individuals having positive swab results.


Among health care workers, workers in the surgical intensive care unit (ICU, 53%) and medical ICU (20%) had the highest prevalence of MRSA. Workers in the cardiac care unit, private ward, and emergency department were negative for carriage.


“Based on these results, it is recommended that all health care workers, especially those working in ICUs, be screened for presence of MRSA carriage,” Drs Manzoor and Abbasi concluded. “Early detection and proper treatment for decolonization will reduce risk of MRSA infection in the patients.”


—Amanda Balbi



Manzoor R, Abbasi M. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carrier among healthcare workers as compared to community. Paper presented at: CDC International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases; August 26-29, 2018; Atlanta, GA. Accessed August 27, 2018.