Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is resistant to most of the commonly used antibiotics and is therefore a public health issue. Colonization with MRSA is a risk factor for infection or transmission.
To determine the prevalence of colonization with Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and MRSA strains in health care workers (HCWs) at a tertiary hospital in Ecuador and to determine the risk factors associated with carriage.
Out of a cohort of 3800 HCWs, 481 individuals from different hospital departments were randomly selected, and a single nasal swab was collected. Detection of SA and MRSA was carried out with the LightCycler ® MRSA Advanced Test. A questionnaire was performed that gathered demographic and occupational information of the participants to determine risk factors for MRSA colonization. Statistical analysis was performed with univariate and multivariate analysis and the R-software version 4.0.2.
Colonization with SA and MRSA occurred in respectively 23.7% (95% CI, 22.7–24.6) and 5% (95% CI, 3.39–7.58) of the individuals. The multivariate analysis showed that being older in age (OD 1.09) and being male (OD 2.78) were risk factors for SA and MRSA colonization ( p-value < 0.001). Previous use of antibiotics or the use of nasal ointments diminished the colonization rates of SA (24% versus 3.7% and 10.1% respectively).