J Oral Microbiol. 2021 Feb 21;13(1):1889898. doi: 10.1080/20002297.2021.1889898.
Objective: This study assessed the prevalence of MRSA, ESBL and VRE in students from four dental schools in Europe. Methods: The hand, tongue and nostrils of the students who treated patients (study group) and who did not treat patients (control group) were sampled. After incubation in TSB and subculturing in the presence of 4 µg/ml oxacillin, positive cultures were identified for Staphylococcus aureus by Mannitol salt agar and agglutination tests. The presence of MRSA was confirmed by specific PCR on the species and on the SSCmec genes. ESBL and VRE were isolated using specific CHROMagar and confirmed using antibiotic sensitivity tests. Results: Of the 879 students who participated in this study (454 students which treated patients, 425 controls) a total of 50 students (5.7%) tested positive for a multi-drug resistant bacterium (MDRB); 13 (1.5%) students tested positive for MRSA, 26 (3.0%) for ESBL and 12 (1.4%) for VRE. No statistically significant differences were found between the students who treated patients compared to the control group for any of the MDRB and study centres, excluding MRSA carriage in the Italian student population. The use of antibiotics the year before sampling, was positively associated with the presence of an MDRB (OR 2.0; 95% Confidence Interval 1.10-3.68; p = 0.02). Conclusion: The risk for MDRB carriage and sequential transmission of MDRB for dental health care students and their patients were acceptably low.