Detection of blaZ and mecA genes and antimicrobial susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus colonizing multipurpose boxes of dentistry students
Cross-contamination between patient and dentist is a real threat that has not been adequately studied. Staphylococcus aureus, through its characteristic genetic plasticity, has managed to develop multiple virulence and antibiotic resistance proteins. The antibiotic susceptibility profile and the presence of the blaZ and mecA genes that encode resistance to penicillin and methicillin, respectively, were analyzed in strains isolated from multipurpose boxes used by dental students at the Catholic University of Cuenca. These boxes are used to transport instruments and material. From the universe of study (249 boxes) 139 samples were obtained from boxes of the students who accepted and signed a consent to participate. Eight strains of S. aureus were identified, of which, through antibiogram analysis, it was found that seven were resistant to penicillin and two strains resistant to cefoxitin (MRSA strains). In molecular analysis, the mecA gene was identified in two strains, while the blaZ gene was found in all of them. It was concluded that the rate of S. aureus found in this study was low due to various factors, possibly including increased vigilance and cleanliness due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the study.