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