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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


LIMA, Wanda Ramos dos Santos; MARQUES, Sirlei Garcia; RODRIGUES, Fernanda Souto  and  REBELO, Jose Manuel Macario. Ants in a hospital environment and their potential as mechanical bacterial vectors. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.5, pp.637-640. ISSN 0037-8682.


We studied the richness and abundance of ant species, their bacteria and the bacteria isolated from patient clinical samples.


Ants were collected with baited traps at 64 sites in a public hospital in São Luis, State of Maranhão, Brazil.


In total, 1,659 ants from 14 species were captured. The most frequent species were Crematogaster victima, Solenopsis saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Camponotus vittatus and Paratrechina fulva. Forty-one species of bacteria were isolated from the ants and 18 from patients.


Ants are potential vehicles for pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria, and they can represent a risk factor in nosocomial infections.

Keywords : Urban ants; Vectors of nosocomial infection; Formicidae.

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