Staphylococcus aureus is usually considered a colonizer but can result in infections under favourable conditions, especially in the healthcare setting. Healthcare workers can be colonized by S. aureus, and may transmit them to patients under their care. We conducted a cross sectional study to determine the prevalence of S. aureus nasal carriers among medical students in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) (from January to June 2011). Our study involved 209 medical students comprising of 111 and 97 preclinical and clinical students respectively. A selfadministered questionnaire was distributed and nasal swabs were collected. Upon identification, the antibiotic susceptibility of the isolates was examined followed by categorical analysis (Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests) with factors associated with S. aureus nasal carriage. Twenty one (10%) S. aureus strains were isolated from 209 nasal swab samples. 14 isolates were from pre-clinical students while the remaining seven were from clinical students. There was no significant association between gender, ethnicity, health status, skin infection and students' exposure to hospital environment with S. aureus nasal carriage (p>0.05). Nineteen (90.5%) isolates were resistant to penicillin and there was also no significant association between penicillin resistant and the students' groups. One (5.3%) isolate was resistant to erythromycin. There was no methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolated in this study.
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