Superbugs with Antibiotic Resistance; The Frequency of Community-Acquired MRSA Isolation on Frequently Touched Surfaces by Public
Objective: to detect the presence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) on frequently touched surfaces in the community, like handles and seats of shopping trolleys and to identify disinfecting practices of the grocery store owners.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Grocery stores in Rawalpindi, Pakistan from Jun to Nov 2019.
Methodology: A total of 200 swabs from two separate surfaces of 100 trolleys were collected, with 100 samples each from handles and the seats. Trolleys from seven different grocery stores in Rawalpindi Pakistan, were selected by multistage sampling. The swabs were presented to the Microbiology laboratory at Fauji Foundation Hospital, Rawalpindi Pakistan to test for bacterial presence.
Results: The samples showed growth on 65% of trolley handles and 66% of trolley seats. Trolleys washed once in 6 to 12 months, had 42.5% bacterial growth. Staphylococcus Aureus was present on 42 % of both surfaces, with 24% MRSA on Trolley handles and 18% on trolley seats. The significant association was observed in Bacterial growth on the handles of trolleys and servicing frequency of shopping trolleys with the p-value of <0.001.
Conclusion: MRSA strain was alarmingly detected on shopping trolleys, a community-use item. Grocery store keepers following guidelines for the trolleys’ sanitation along with regular monitoring can protect staff and the general public. In addition, it is important to impart health education to the general public regarding disease transmission through such sources and their preventive strategies.