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Epidemiology of Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Isolated from Clinical Blood Specimens at the University Hospital of the West Indies



The prevalence and significance of coagulase negative staphylococci (CoNS) isolated from blood cultures at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) during a six-month period were investigated. Standard and automated microbiological procedures were used to process 3001 blood culture specimens received from 2363 patients and 658 (21.9%) of the blood cultures yielded 854 bacterial isolates. The highest prevalence of positive blood cultures (60%) and the lowest prevalence of blood isolates of CoNS (12%) were found in the intensive care unit (ICU). The blood isolates of CoNS were most frequent in the surgical wards (13%) and lowest in obstetrics and gynaecology (2%). High rates of resistance to methicillin, other anti-staphylococcal penicillins, and cephalosporins used in the treatment of CoNS were observed. All blood isolates of CoNS (100%) were susceptible to vancomycin. In conclusion, the results show that coagulase-negative staphylococci are the most prevalent bacterial isolates in blood cultures at the UHWI occurring mostly as contaminants. The practice of proper venepuncture and hand-washing techniques by medical staff are recommended to facilitate appropriate antibiotic usage.

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e-Published: 10 Jun, 2013
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