Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
versão impressa ISSN 0037-8682
PEREIRA, Rogério dos Santos e UENO, Mariko. Ants as carriers of microorganisms in hospital environments. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.5, pp. 492-495. ISSN 0037-8682. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822008000500011.
Concern exists regarding the real possibility of public health threats caused by pathogenic agents that are carried by urban ants. The present study had the objective of isolating and identifying the microorganisms that are associated with ants in hospital environments. One hundred and twenty-five ants of the same species were collected from different units of a university hospital. Each ant was collected using a swab soaked with physiological solution and was transferred to a tube containing brain heart infusion broth and incubated at 35ºC for 24 hours. From each tube, with growth, inoculations were made into specific culturing media, to isolate any microorganisms. The ants presented a high capacity for carrying microorganism groups: spore-producing Gram-positive bacilli 63.5%, Gram-negative bacilli 6.3%, Gram-positive cocci 23.1%, filamentous fungi 6.7% and yeast 0.5%. Thus, it can be inferred that ants may be one of the agents responsible for disseminating microorganisms in hospital environments.
Palavras-chave : Ants; Vectors; Microorganisms; Hospital.