A Study on Microbial Flora on Skin of Health Care Providers in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Southern India DC09-DC11
Dr. Mathavi Sureshkumar,
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Vinayaka Mission’s Kirupananda Variyar Medical College,
Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation (Deemed to be University), Salem-636308, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Human skin is constantly covered with microorganisms both commensals and pathogens depending on topography, environmental factors and host factors. Though these organisms are regarded as commensals in immunocompetent individuals, they can become pathogenic in immunocompromised persons especially in hospitalised individuals. In recent years, Staphylococcus epidermidis is regarded as an agent of hospital and community acquired infections. When the health care workers do not wash their hands between patients or do not practice standard infection control measures, they are responsible for transmission of nosocomial infections.
Aim: This study was done to know the microbial flora on skin of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and to create awareness on the effective infection control measures.
Materials and Methods: This prospective study was done in Vinayaka Mission’s Kirupananda Variyar Medical College, Salem for a period of four months. Two swabs were collected from 130 Health Care Workers (HCWs) (Doctors, Staff nurse, Medical students, Lab technicians and Housekeeping staff) and subjected to bacterial and fungal culture. Blood agar and MacConkey agar was used for bacterial culture and Sabouraud’s dextrose agar for fungal culture. The bacterial isolates were then subjected to antibiotic sensitivity testing.
Results: Bacterial growth was observed in all the HCWs (100%) and fungus was isolated from eight HCWs (6.2%). Among the bacterial isolates, Diphtheroids (47) were the predominant isolate accounting for 29% followed by coagulase negative Staphylococcus (39) which was 24% of isolates. The predominant pathogen isolated was Staphylococcus aureus (15%, 25 isolates). 17% (11 isolates) of Staphylococci were resistant to Cefoxitin which indicates both MRSA and MR-CONS. Among gram-negative isolates, most of them were resistant to ampicillin, cotrimoxazole and cephalosporins. Candida (4 out of 8, 50%) was the predominant fungal isolate.
Conclusion: Physical contact with HCWs is the most frequent mode of transmission of nosocomial infections. Hence, awareness should be created among HCWs about the significance of handwashing and use of personal protective equipment to prevent cross-infection.