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Int Dent J. 2018 Oct;68(5):359-366. doi: 10.1111/idj.12388. Epub 2018 Mar 25.

Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection control and nasal MRSA carriage rate among dental health-care professionals.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry, Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul National University Dental Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Comprehensive Treatment Center, Seoul National University Dental Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Advanced General Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.



Dental health-care professionals (DHCPs) with nasal colonisation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can serve as a reservoir for MRSA transmission to others and be exposed to self-contamination with MRSA. Evaluating the knowledge, attitudes and actual practice of DHCPs is imperative for appropriate infection control.


Dentists, dental hygienists and dental technologists from Seoul National University Dental Hospital were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional survey and undergo nasal sampling of MRSA. The survey included demographic questions, six questions about knowledge, eight questions about attitudes/perceptions and six questions about practices/behaviours regarding MRSA infection control. Nasal samples from the participants were analysed for MRSA presence, antimicrobial susceptibility and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) typing. MRSA carriers underwent decolonisation with topical mupirocin.


Among 139 DHCPs, four (2.9%) were nasal MRSA carriers. Decolonisation was successful in three participants. One participant was decolonised with topical fusidic acid after failure to decolonise with mupirocin. Dentists had a higher knowledge score compared with the other professionals (P < 0.05). Dental hygienists scored higher on practice questions compared with the other professionals (P < 0.05). There was a significant, positive correlation between attitude and practice scores (P < 0.01).


The nasal MRSA carriage rate among DHCPs is 2.9%, which is higher than that in the general population but lower than that in other health-care professionals. Further education of DHCPs on MRSA, especially regarding its seriousness, is needed to improve MRSA infection control in a dental hospital setting.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; dental health-care professional; infection control; nasal carriage

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