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  IN THIS Article
 ::  Introduction
 ::  Material and methods
 ::  Results
 ::  Discussion
 ::  Acknowledgement
 ::  References

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Year : 1983  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-8

Predominence of S. aureus phage type-47 among the isolates from cardiac and neurosurgical patients.

How to cite this article:
Mathew J J, Shanmugam J J, Rout D D, Valiathan M S. Predominence of S. aureus phage type-47 among the isolates from cardiac and neurosurgical patients. J Postgrad Med 1983;29:34

How to cite this URL:
Mathew J J, Shanmugam J J, Rout D D, Valiathan M S. Predominence of S. aureus phage type-47 among the isolates from cardiac and neurosurgical patients. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1983 [cited 2023 Jan 28];29:34. Available from:

  ::   Introduction Top

S. aureus is one of the leading pathogens in the genesis of nosocomial infections. The phage types responsible for such infections vary from hospital to hospital. During the years from 1960 to 1969, type 80/81 was the leading one in causing nosocomial infections. But during the last decade, the pattern has considerably changed. Nowadays, phage group III and type 94/96 are common among the hospital strains, though type 80/81 continues to be seen less frequently.[4] The reports from India indicated that group III phages are frequently found among the hospital strains.[1], [3], [6] The pattern of the prevalence of S. aureus phage types in South India is not known, due to the paucity of such reports. Here we describe the pattern of the phage types of S. aureus, isolated from different clinical specimens, obtained from patients undergoing open-heart and brain surgeries, healthy hospital personnel and the hospital environments.

  ::   Material and methods Top

One hundred and twenty two strains of S. aureus were isolated from different clinical specimens obtained from patients undergoing open-heart and brain surgery at Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum. Thirty-nine strains were isolated from the throat and nose of healthy hospital personnel, mainly from ward sisters and staff nurses. Sixteen strains were isolated from air and surfaces in the intensive care units and operation theatres. All these strains were obtained during the years 1976 to 1981 and maintained at room temperature in semi-solid nutrient agar. Prior to phage typing, the strains were reconfirmed for purity and identification. The phage typing was carried out at the ICMR Staphylococcal Phage Tying Centre at Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, according to the conventional methods.[5], [7]

  ::   Results Top

Out of 177 S. aureus strains subjected to phage typing, [68] were typable by RTD, [45] by RTD x 100, and [64] were untypable by both methods. Cent per cent typability by RTD alone was found with the strains isolated during the years 1976 and 1977. [Table - 1] Seventy nine out of 133 typable strains belonged to group111 (48 by RTD and 31 by RTD x 100 [ Table 1] Type 85, in group-III was found to be highly prevalent among the environmental isolates (10/14), while only 2 out of 42 clinical isolates belonged to the same type. [Table - 2] In contrast, type-47 was more prevalent among the clinical isolates (14/42), and absent among the environmental strains. Most of the pathogenic strains (clinical isolates) belonged to type 47, followed by 83 A [Table - 2] Only 16 strains belonged to phage group II and more than half of them were obtained from pus specimens, mainly from superficial wounds.

  ::   Discussion Top

In the present study, the phage typability was found to be 63.8% with the S. aureus strains [Table - 1] This is higher than the report from Lucknow[1] (44.0%) and less than that from New Delhi[3] (70.4%). We have found 70% of the typable strains belonging to group-III, while Bhujwala and Mohapatra[2] found only 18.2% of their strains belonging to the same group. Our findings tally well with the reports of Agarwal et al[1] (70%) and Dutta et al[3] (77.4%). Most of our strains belonging to group-III, were represented by types 47, followed by 85 and 83A [Table - 2]
Among the clinical strains, type 47 was found to be the predominant one (33.3%), followed by 83A (16.7%) [Table - 3]. This indicated that most of our pathogenic strains belonged to the above phage types. In general, the type 47 was found to be an important one among the pathogenic strains of S. aureus in India, since the same type was reported to be common in Lucknow and New Delhi too.[1], [6] Only 15.9% of the typable strains belonged to group-II. This is nearly same with the reports of Ray et al[6] (19.8'%), and far higher than that of Agarwal et al[1] (3.2%). It is interesting to note that more than half of the strains belonging to group-II, were isolated from pus specimen, indicating some predilection between the above group and the pyogenic infections.
Type 85 was found to be highly prevalent among the environmental isolates (66.6%). Since it is also found among the clinical strains and environmental isolates, though less frequently, its role in hospital cross infections cannot be ruled out. 93.3% of the typable strains of our hospital isolates belonged to group-III, while 82.1% of the carrier strains belonged to the same. group. This is in good contrast to the report of Agarwal et al[1] from Lucknow. in which 42.6% of the environmental strains belonged to the same group. Our findings indicated that out of 79 strains coming under group-III, 47 (59.5%) were typable by single phage type, while 32 (40.5%) by multiple phages [Table - 2]. One or more of the leading types-47, 85 and 83A, were seen in 29 strains of multiple phage types, while only 3 strains could not be typed by any one of the above types.
Among the healthy carriers too, the phage type 47 was found to be common, followed by 83A. Since the above two types were commonly found among the carriers as well as in the clinical specimens, cross infections due to these types in our hospitalised patients may be occurring silently. Our findings of the wide prevalence of phage type 47 among our clinical isolates, indicated the pathogenic nature of the above type. Further studies in this aspect will be of use in understanding and controlling the nosocomial infections due to S. aureus, which often poses problems in the treatment due to its multiresistant property to most of the commonly used antibiotics.

  ::   Acknowledgement Top

The authors extend their sincere thanks to Prof. D. S. Agarwal, Officer-in-Charge of the Staphylococcus Phage Typing Centre (I.C.M.R.), Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi for phage typing our strains. Thanks are also due to Mrs. Aswathy Joseph for her technical assistance.

  ::   References Top

1.Agarwal, D. S., Khan, A. M., Srivastava, A. B., Mehrotra, R. and Mehrotra; R. M. L.: Staphylococcal wound infection in a surgical ward at Lucknow. Ind. J. Med. Res., 72: 807-813, 1980.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Bhujwala, R. A. and Mohapatra, L. N.: Bacteriophage pattern and antibiotic resistance of Staphylococcus aureus. Ind. J. Pathol. & Bacteriol., 15: 66-72, 1972.   Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Dutta, S. R., Agarwal, D. S. and Gulati, S. M.: Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus and its importance in infection of the hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients. Indian J. Pathol. & Bacteriol., 19: 97-108, 1976.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Kloos, W. E . and Smith, P. B.: Stapphylococci. in, "Manual of Clinical Microbiology". Editors: Lennettee, E. H., Balows, A., Hausler, W. J. Jr. and Traunt, J. P.: 3rd Edition, American Society for Microbiology: Washington, DC, 1980, pp. 83-87.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Parker, M. T.: Phage typing of Staphylococcus aureus. In "Methods to Microbiology", Vol. VII-B, Editors:. J. R. Norris and D. W. Ribbons. Academic Press, London, 1972, pp. 1-28.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Ray, K., Ray-Chowdhury, A. N. and Agarwal, D. S.: Antibiotic sensitivity and phage typing of Staphylococcus aureus from skin lesions at a rural dispensary. Ind. J. Med. Res., 72: 802-806, 1980.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.W.H.O. Manual: "Laboratory Procedures for investigations on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosu associated with nosocomial infections." South East Asia Regional Office of W.H.O., New Delhi, 1976.  Back to cited text no. 7    

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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
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