Staphylococcus Aureus is a common cause for infections in the community and a major cause in hospital based disease. Up to 40% of the general public thought to be carriers and of hospital staff from 50 – 70%, and is associated with a higher risk of infection in the hospital setting. The anterior nares have been shown to be the most frequent site of carriage and are the single site of detection.  In certain situations, hospital patients and staff may be investigated and screened to identify carriers of S. aureus. Food handlers may also be investigated, often as a result of food poisoning outbreak/s (MLTM) Specimens from the anterior nares are plated in a medium selective for staphylococci, such as mannitol salt agar, to allow recovery of staphylococci from the mixtures of organisms (MLTM). Microbiologists working with staphylococci would have a carriage rate similar to health care personnel. Microbiology students at the commencement of microbiology studies would be expected to have a carriage rate similar to the general population, therefore worth investigating whether there is evidence that the carriage rate of microbiology students is similar to hospital or age care personnel. (MLTM) The aim of this study is to determine the carriage rate of Staphylococcus aureus in the nares of second year microbiology students at RMIT University.
Materials and Methods
The study was conducted on a student population taking second year microbiology courses at RMIT University from the years 2010 to 2012. Associates from both Bundoora and City campuses were sampled during their practical classes. Nasal swabs were obtained with one sterile swab. Both left and right nostrils were swabbed and immediately inoculated on a Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA) Plate, followed by the normal streak dilution using a flamed loop. The MSA plate was incubated at 35°C in aerobic conditions for 44-48 hours. (MLTM) MSA is a selective medium for the isolation and differentiation of different...
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