Resistance to beta-lactams in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from cell phone screens of dentistry students based on an antibiogram and detection of blaZ and mecA genes
Currently, the use of cell phones is booming within the health system. Since they are frequently used, they have become an important vehicle for nosocomial infections, with Staphylococcus aureus being the most commonly found pathogen. We tested for resistance to beta-lactams in S. aureus isolated from phone screens of senior dentistry students who were involved in pre-professional clinical practice. Out of a total of 220 students, 92 participated in the study, from which 16 S. aureus positive samples were obtained; these samples are relevant due to the fact that the participants were in contact with patients. The S. aureus genes were identified by means of a PCR and the antibiotic resistance by using the Kirby Bauer's diffusion technique. All 16 isolated strains contained the blaZ gene; in seven the mecA gene was identified. Phenotypic resistance to penicillin and oxacillin manifested in 12 and 7 strains, respectively. We conclude that dental professional cell phones have potential as a nosocomial risk for pathogenic bacterial contamination.