Staphylococcal biofilm on wedding rings worn by laboratory workers

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Hands of healthcare workers play essential role in the spreading of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms in and out of the healthcare settings. Less is known about the role of laboratory workers (LWs). The aim of our study was to evaluate the presence of biofilm-forming staphylococci on the surface of jewelry rings of LWs and their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern. A total of 79 LWs from eight different microbiology laboratories that process and analyze specimens from the tertiary care hospitals in Belgrade, Serbia participated in the study. The study was reviewed and approved by the institutional review boards at hospitals. Samples were taken after hand washing. Bacteria on LWs wedding rings were detected with the rolling method, and further analyzed in order to determine the number of colony forming unit (CFU) per ring, species of bacteria and their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern, methicillin resistance and biofilm-producing capacity in vitro. Staphylococci were recovered from 60.8% of wedding rings. All strains produced biofilm (25% weak, 56.2% moderate and 18.8% large amount), with significant difference between species (P < 0.001). Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis formed the largest amount of biofilm and had the largest number of CFU per ring. Staphylococci were most commonly resistant to penicillin (66.7%), tetracycline (50.0%), and erythromycin (45.8%); 41.7% of isolates was multidrug resistant and mecA gene was detected in five strains. All strains were susceptible to linezolid, vancomycin, teicoplanin and tigecycline. Staphylococci colonize LWs wedding rings, form biofilm on it, have multidrug resistant phenotype and/or carry mecA gene, representing a significant reservoir for the spreading of microorganisms and resistance. As far as we know, our study is the first that address this topic in laboratory workers.




Cirković, I., Pejović, A., Jovićević, M., Brkić, S., Djukić, S., & Bozic, D. D. (2023). Staphylococcal biofilm on wedding rings worn by laboratory workers. Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica, 70(1), 73–78.

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