This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus in clinical and environmental samples and their susceptibility pattern to antibiotics. A total of 231 samples comprising 127 clinical specimens obtained from patients and health personnel of various health facilities and 104 environmental samples from these facilities were screened for S. aureus using standard microbiological and biochemical methods (API Staph). Antimicrobial susceptibility of isolates was determined by the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion assay. Results were analyzed by the chi-square test and p values < 0.05 were considered significant. Of the 231 samples screened, 85 (36.8%) were positive for S. aureus. Fifty-three (23%) and thirty two (14%) represented positive cultures from clinical and environmental samples respectively. Biochemical characterization grouped the isolates into five biotypes with biotype UB I being the most prevalent (49.9%) and biotype UB IV the least (5.9%). There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) in the susceptibility of the isolates to vancomycin (80%); ofloxacin (72.9%) and ciprofloxacin (71.8%). Marked resistance was observed for methicillin (94.1%), gentamicin (83.5%) and oxacillin (75.3%). Twenty one antibiotypes were identified, with resistance to three or more antibiotics being common. Healthcare personnel and the hospital environment could serve as potential reservoirs of S. aureus in the study locality. These findings have clinical and epidemiological significance.
Key words: Staphylococcus aureus, biotypes, antibiotypes, public health, environmental health, epidemiology.
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