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Narmeen Nasradden Fathi*, Sherko A Omer * and Mohammed O Mohammed **

*   Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medical sciences, University of Sulaimani.
** Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medical sciences, University of Sulaimani.

Submitted: 31/5/2012; Accepted: 29/7/2012; Published 1/6/2013



Staphylococcus aureus, a well known constant human pathogen that also exploit human as carrier to new hosts when inhabiting area like nose and skin. Over years strains had emerged with ability to resist the effect of several antimicrobial agents. The ability to resist the methicillin caused by different genetic backgrounds was one of the problems in the fight against these organisms.


This study was aimed to isolate and identify Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) inhabiting the nose of health workers in the main hospitals in Sulaimani city and to identify the susceptibility of these strains to several antimicrobial agents, also to inquire about daily infection safety and hand hygiene practice of the health workers.


To those who agreed to participate in the study, questionnaires were documented. Nasal swabs were obtained and isolation of Staphylococci was done on selective media, then S. aureus was confirmed and subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility using disk diffusion method.


The participants were grouped in to nine occupational groups. Gloves were always used by 30.5% of the participants, not used in 18.8% and the other 50.6% were selective in using gloves. Hand cleansing with antiseptic were practiced in 31.7% while face mask were used by 18.4%. Hand washing during work in health facility were not practiced in 58.6%, 1-10 times hand washing was reported in 20.4%, 11-20 times hand washing in 10.8% and more than twenty time washing in 10%. Forty five out of 249 nasal swabs yielded S. aureus making the carrier rate of 18% while methicillin-resistant S. aureus rate was 5.6% among the participants.


Hand hygiene practice and infection safety were suboptimal in our health facilities. Nasal carrier of S. aureus was 18% in health workers while MRSA strains were isolated in 5.6% of the health workers. Prompt measure for hand hygiene must be implemented urgently to control transmission of S. aureus and to limit development of antimicrobial resistance.


MRSA, Staphylococcus aureus, Health workers, Sulaimani.


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