Colonisation of dentures by Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA in out-patient and in-patient populations

N. Lewis, N. Parmar, Z. Hussain, G. Baker, I. Green, J. Howlett, Angela Kearns, B. Cookson, A. McDonald, M. Wilson, Derren Ready*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important human pathogen, and colonisation with this organism can result in localised or systemic infections which may be fatal. One hundred in-patients admitted to a London teaching hospital and 100 out-patients attending prosthetic dentistry clinics were recruited into this study. Of the 100 out-patients, 27 % harboured S. aureus on their dentures, compared to 33 % of in-patients. Only one out-patient had MRSA colonising their dentures whereas 12 % of the in-patients harboured MRSA. The median total bacterial count of the denture plaque samples was 6.2 × 107 cfu/sample and 6.9 × 107 cfu/sample for the out-patient and in-patient populations, respectively. In most instances, where present, S. aureus comprised less than 1 % of the total viable denture microbiota. Phage typing demonstrated that EMRSA-15 and non-typeable strains were harboured on dentures. The results of this study have revealed that dentures are a potential reservoir of MRSA and so account should be taken of these findings when planning decontamination procedures for elimination of this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1823-1826
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2015

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© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


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