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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497


CAVALCANTI, Silvana Maria de Morais et al. Comparative study on the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus imported to intensive care units of a university hospital, Pernambuco, Brazil. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2006, vol.9, n.4, pp.436-446. ISSN 1415-790X.

Staphylococcus aureus is the most important pathogen that colonizes healthy individuals in the community and is responsible for infections in hospitalized patients. A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of methicillin-resistant and sensitive S. aureus, in 231 patients, hospitalized from January to April 2003, in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) of Hospital Universitário Oswaldo Cruz, as well as possible factors associated with colonization. Secretions, from the anterior nostrils, armpits, perineum and dermatosis with continuity solutions, were collected from all patients, within the first 48 h of admission at the ICU. These samples were spread on appropriate media. The prevalence of S. aureus was 37.7% (87/231), of which 13% (30/231) methicillin-resistant and 24.8% (57/231) methicillin-sensitive. Age, gender, antibiotic therapy, corticoid therapy and cause and place of hospitalization were not associated to colonization by S. aureus or methicillin-resistance. There was a significant association between hospital of origin and S. aureus colonization, regardless of strain, as well as between previous hospitalization and the presence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Regardless of strain, nostrils were the most significant colonization site for methicillin-resistant (47/57=82.4%) and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (23/30=76.7%). There was a high prevalence of S aureus, (methicillin resistant or sensitive), as well as of methicillin resistance among ICU patients in this hospital. Future studies may prove the results reported here and screening routines for S. aureus should be adopted, prospectively, to evaluate risk, as well as the magnitude of the effect, on the control of hospital infections caused by these pathogens.

Keywords : Prevalence; Staphylococcus aureus; Methicillin-resistance; Intensive Therapy Unit.

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