American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Carriage Among Injecting and Non-Injecting Drug Users and Antimicrobial Susceptibility

Mojtaba Varshochi, Zahra Attari, Alka Hasani and Ali Seidi

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2013.34.39

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 9, Issue 2

Pages 34-39


Staphylococcus Aureus (SA) is one of the most prevalent bacterial pathogens in human beings. Approximately 20% of healthy persons are persistent carriers and 60% are intermittent carriers of SA. Nasal cavity is one of the most important sites of its colonization. Intravenous (IV) drug abuse has been proposed as a risk factor for colonization of SA in the nasal mucosa. The goal of this study was to determine the frequency of SA carriers in nasal cavity among IV and non-IV drug abusers (addicts), as well as to assess the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the positive cases. In a cross-sectional analysis of 300 drug addicts (Group I: 100 non-injecting addicts, Group II: 100 IV injecting drug addicts in rehab, Group III: 100 IV injecting drug addicts not in rehab) in the infectious diseases clinics of Tabriz’s Imam Reza and Sina teaching hospitals and the rehabilitation center of Razi hospital, were investigated. Hospitalized addicts, insulin-dependent diabetic cases, HIV positive patients and those on chronic hemodialysis were excluded. The nasal mucosal sample was prepared from each case for SA isolation and its antimicrobial susceptibility was investigated by antibiogram. Eighty-four cases (28%) were culture positive for SA, including 26 cases in group one, 32 cases in group two and 26 cases in group three (p = 0.55). There was only one MRSA isolate present in all the cases studied (1.2%). No resistance to linozolid, rifampin and vancomycin was observed. The resistance to erythromycin, cefoxitin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, co-trimoxazol and gentamicin were 3.6, 4.8, 2.4, 3.6, 1.2 and 2.4% respectively. No statistically significant differences existed between the three groups in antibacterial susceptibility pattern. Sensitivity to oxacillin using the E-test results and disc diffusion were completely consistent. The percentage of carries of SA in the anterior nasal mucosa among IV and non-IV drug addicts is not considerably higher than the general population. MRSA isolates were uncommon in our cases. However, given the importance of localized and systemic infections in this group, early detection and treatment is reasonable.


© 2013 Mojtaba Varshochi, Zahra Attari, Alka Hasani and Ali Seidi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.