Study: MRSA Common Among Some Dental Students
1 in 5 UAW Dental Students Tested Carried the Drug-Resistant Staph Strain
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MRSA Common in Buffalo Dental Study
In a study reported earlier this year, Roberts and colleagues found a high rate of MRSA colonization among a group of Seattle-area firefighters.
In their latest investigation conducted at the UAW dental school, the researchers took nasal swabs from 61 dental students and swabbed 95 surfaces considered potential reservoirs for MRSA.
Thirteen (21%) of the students and eight (8.4%) surfaces from four of the seven clinics harbored MRSA.
The study was published online today and will appear in the October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.
An unrelated study of dental school students and instructors in Buffalo, N.Y., showed an even higher rate of colonization, with 31% of the 84 people showing evidence of MRSA.
That study was presented at a 2009 meeting of dental researchers held in Miami.
Roberts says the Buffalo findings show that the high MRSA colonization rate reported in her study is not limited to her institution.
Roberts and the CDC’s Srinivasan do agree that more study is needed to develop a better understanding of the rate of MRSA colonization in non-hospital health care settings.
The extent to which this colonization impacts MRSA infection rates is also not clear, he adds.
“We know a great deal about the infection control challenges related to MRSA in acute care hospital settings, but we know a lot less about this issue in non-acute care settings such as dental and dialysis centers and ambulatory surgical centers,” Srinivasan says.
Srinivasan says it does not appear that these settings represent a major source of community-acquired MRSA transmission.