Clinical Oral Investigations

, 13:369 | Cite as

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among dental patients: a problem for infection control in dentistry?

  • Melanie Zimmerli
  • Andreas F. Widmer
  • Marc Dangel
  • Andreas Filippi
  • Reno Frei
  • Jürg Meyer
Original Article


We assessed the frequency of carriers of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among 500 dental patients of a university clinic. From each participant, two specimens were taken from the anterior nares and the pharynx and analysed by culture. The participants completed a questionnaire on possible risk factors of MRSA infection. Two hundred ten individuals carried S. aureus, 90 in the nares only, 51 in the throat only and 69 in nares and throat. Isolates of 208 patients were methicillin-sensitive; two isolates were methicillin-resistant, both carried in the throat exclusively. In conclusion, the frequency of nasal and/or throat carriers of MRSA among dental patients was low and suggests few opportunities of exposure in the dental clinic assessed.


Staphylococcus aureus Methicillin resistance MRSA carriers Epidemiology Infection control 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie Zimmerli
    • 1
  • Andreas F. Widmer
    • 2
  • Marc Dangel
    • 2
  • Andreas Filippi
    • 1
  • Reno Frei
    • 3
  • Jürg Meyer
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Oral Surgery, Oral Radiology and Oral Medicine, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Hospital EpidemiologyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Laboratory of Diagnostic BacteriologyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute of Preventive Dentistry and Oral Microbiology, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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