African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5232

Full Length Research Paper

Microbial flora on the hands of healthcare workers

  Fahriye Eksi*, Aysen Bayram, Murat Mehli, Sadik Akgun and Iclal Balci  
Gaziantep University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Universite Bulvari, Gaziantep, 27310, Turkey.  
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 September 2010
  •  Published: 18 November 2010



The aims of this study were to study the process of microbial contamination of healthcare workers’ (HCWs) hands during routine patient care and simultaneously to evaluate the state of antibiotic susceptibility of microorganisms isolated from the hands of HCWs. Samples were collected from the hands of 154 HCWs working at Gaziantep University Hospital. A standard bag broth technique was employed. In addition to conventional methods, VITEK 2 automated system and API ID 32C kits were used for identification of the isolated microorganisms. Antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial agents was performed by disc diffusion method. For antifungal susceptibility, ATB Fungus 2 kit was used. Of 154 specimens, 148 (96.1%) showed microbial growth and 160 microorganisms were isolated as single or multiple members of the resident flora. Transient flora including one or more microorganisms (n = 47) were recovered from the hands of 39 (25.3%) HCWs. All gram-positive bacteria were detected to be sensitive to vancomycin, teicoplanin and linezolid, however 30.1% of the coagulase-negative staphylococci and 40% ofStaphylococcus aureus isolates were resistant to methicillin. Multiple drug resistance was determined in Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas isolates. It can be concluded that transient flora members isolated from hands of HCWs can be causative agents of serious nosocomial infections due to their high and multiple antimicrobial resistance patterns.


Key words: Healthcare workers, resident flora, transient flora, antimicrobial susceptibility.