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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 24, Issue 2, Pages e39-e41
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/148937
Original Article

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Colonization among Medical Residents

Pascale Trépanier, Claude Tremblay, and Annie Ruest

Service de Microbiologie-Infectiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, Québec City, Québec, Canada

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Medical residents may be at risk of becoming colonized by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) during their training. The occupational risk of this specific population is unknown. Furthermore, there are no data regarding MRSA colonization among health care professionals in Quebec.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the MRSA colonization rate in Laval University (Quebec City, Quebec) medical residents and compare it with the MRSA colonization rate of a control group.

METHODS: A controlled cross-sectional study of MRSA prevalence among medical residents of Laval University was performed. The control group consisted of Laval University undergraduate medical students without previous clinical rotations in their curriculum. After informed consent was obtained, participants were screened for MRSA with a nasal swab in both anterior nares. They also completed a questionnaire regarding relevant risk factors and demographic data.

RESULTS: A total of 250 residents of all residency levels from medical and surgical specialties and 247 controls were recruited between February and April 2010. One case of MRSA colonization was detected among the residents and none in the control group (prevalence of 0.4% versus 0.0%; P=1.00).

DISCUSSION: MRSA nasal carriage was very low among Laval University residents. This may reflect the decreasing rate of health care-associated MRSA in Quebec City. Young age and good health may also explain this low risk. The strict infection control policies for MRSA patients (including cohorting, use of gloves, gown and patient-dedicated equipment) may also contribute to prevent MRSA transmission.

CONCLUSIONS: Medical residents in Quebec City appeared to be at very low risk of contracting MRSA through professional activities.