Published: 2017-12-23

Public transport: a large scale fomite of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

VinodKumar C. S., Sonika Prasad, Satish Patil, Aditya Reddy V., Ankita Jha, Raghu . Kumar K. G, Jayasimha V. L., Basavarajappa K. G.


Background: The role of public transport as reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant staphylococci was determined.

Methods: 200 swabs were collected from 50 public buses (urban and rural) circulating in Davangere, Karnataka. Swabs collected were inoculated on Blood agar, Mannitol salt agar and MacConkey agar plates. After incubation for 24-48 hours, plates were examined for the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. Anti-microbial susceptibility test was performed using oxacillin 1ug disc to detect methicillin resistance as per CSLI guidelines.

Results: Out of 40 Staphylococcus aureus isolated 35 isolates were resistant to more than two classes of antibiotics, hence multidrug resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Out of 35 MDR isolates, 18 were resistant to oxacillin and cefoxitin. Minimum inhibitory concentration test revealed that out of 35 MDR isolates, 18 isolates had MIC value of ≥ 4µg/ml.

Conclusions: The recovery methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from public transport system implies a potential risk for transmission of these bacteria in community.


Antibiotic resistance, Fomite, MRSA, Pathogen reservoir, Public transport

Full Text:



Hidron AI, Kourbatova EV, Halvosa JS, Terrell BJ, McDougal LK, Tenover FC et al. Risk factors for colonization with methicillin-resistantStaphyloc occus aureus (MRSA) in patients admitted to an urban hospital: emergence of community-associated MRSA nasal carriage. Clin Infect Dis. 2005;41: 159-66.

Creech CB, Kernodle DS, Alsentzer A, Wilson C, Edwards KM. Increasing rates of nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant Staphylo coccus aureus in healthy children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2005;24:617-21.

Chambers HF, Sachdeva M. Binding of-lactam antibiotics to penicillin-binding proteins in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Infect Dis. 1990;161:1170-6.

Gorwitz RJ, Kruszon-Moran D, McAllister SK, McQuillan G, McDougal LK, Fosheim GE, et al. Changes in the prevalence of nasal colonization with Staphylococcus aureus in the United States, 2001-2004. J Infect Dis. 2008;197:1226-34.

Eguia JM, Chambers HF. Community-acquired methicillin-resistantStaphyloc occus aureus: epidemiology and potential virulence factors. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2003;5:459-66.

Otter JA, French GL. The emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus at a London teaching hospital, 2000-2006. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008;14, 670-6.

Dancer SJ. Importance of the environment in meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus acquisition: the case for hospital cleaning. Lancet Infect Dis. 2008;8:101-13.

Lescure FX, Locher G, Eveillard M, Biendo M, Van Agt S, Le Loup G et al. Community-acquired infection with healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylo coccus aureus: the role of home nursing care. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2006;27:1213-8.

Chambers HF. Methicillin resistance in staphylococci: molecular and biochemical basis and clinical implications. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 1997;10:781-91.

Purcell K, Fergie J. Epidemic of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections: a 14-year study at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159: 980-5.

Dogan M, Feyzioglu B, Ozdemir M, Baysal B. Investigation of microbial colonization of computer keyboards used inside and outside hospital environments. Mikrobiyol. Bul. 2008;42(2):331-6.

Otter JA, Havill NL, Boyce JM, French GL. Comparison of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from teaching hospitals in London and the USA, 2004–2006: where is USA300 in the UK? Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009;28:835-9.

Kassem II. Concerning public transport as a reservoir of methicillin-resistant staphylococci. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2009;48:268-9.

Miller LG, Diep BA. Clinical practice: colonization, fomites, and virulence: rethinking the pathogenesis of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2008;46:752-60.

Kramer A, Schwebke I, Kampf G. How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2006;6:130.

Tekerekoglu MS, Duman Y, Serindag A, Cuglan SS, Kaysadu H, Tunc E, et al. Do mobile phones of patients, companions and visitors carry multidrug-resistant hospital pathogens? Am. J. Infect. Control 2011;39(5):379-81.