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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(4), 4340-4355; doi:10.3390/ijerph110404340

Occupational Exposure to Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus spp. among Spray Irrigation Workers Using Reclaimed Water

1
Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
2
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3
Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
4
Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
5
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
6
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 11 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
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Abstract

As reclaimed water use expands, it is important to evaluate potential occupational health risks from exposure to this alternative water source. We compared odds of colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and vancomycin-susceptible enterococci (VSE) between spray irrigation workers using reclaimed water and office worker controls. Nasal and dermal swabs from 19 spray irrigation workers and 24 office worker controls were collected and analyzed for MRSA, MSSA, VRE, and VSE. Isolates were confirmed using standard biochemical tests and polymerase chain reaction assays. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed by Sensititre® microbroth dilution. Data were analyzed by two-sample proportion, chi-square, Fisher’s exact tests, and logistic regression. No MRSA or VRE were detected in any samples. MSSA was detected in 26% and 29% of spray irrigators and controls, respectively. VSE was detected in 11% and 0% of spray irrigation workers and controls, respectively. The adjusted odds of MSSA, multidrug-resistant MSSA, and either MSSA or VSE colonization were greater among spray irrigation workers, however results were not statistically significant. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to further evaluate this relationship.
Keywords: antibiotic-resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; enterococci; spray irrigation; occupational exposure antibiotic-resistance; Staphylococcus aureus; enterococci; spray irrigation; occupational exposure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Goldstein, R.E.R.; Micallef, S.A.; Gibbs, S.G.; He, X.; George, A.; Sapkota, A.; Joseph, S.W.; Sapkota, A.R. Occupational Exposure to Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus spp. among Spray Irrigation Workers Using Reclaimed Water. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 4340-4355.

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