Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are considered adverse outcomes of confinement in a healthcare facility. Biofilm-producing, drug-resistant bacteria have further aggravated the problem with HCAIs. This study determined the prevalence, antibiotic susceptibility, and biofilm phenotype of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) isolated from a hospital environment in Northern Philippines. The identification of CoNS species and the determination of antibiotic susceptibility were done using an automated assay. Biofilm production was detected using tissue culture plate (TCP) and Congo red agar (CRA) methods. Out of 220 surfaces and 26 air samples collected, 103 (41.9%) CoNS strains were isolated, predominated by S. epidermidis with 30.1% prevalence. The medical ward was found to have the highest prevalence of CoNS at 64%. The CoNS isolates exhibited a variable resistance profile; the highest was found against penicillin (97.1%) and oxacillin (54.3%). Isolates manifesting resistance to linezolid and vancomycin were also detected. From the 103 CoNS isolates, 52 (50.5%) biofilm producers were detected using the TCP method, and 39 (37.9%) were detected by the CRA method. Statistically significant difference was found between the biofilm biomass and the slime-producing pattern. This study revealed the prevalence of biofilm-producing, drug-resistant strains of CoNS in a Level 3 hospital in Northern Philippines. This warrants further enhancement of infection prevention and control programs to avert the emergence of more biofilm-producing, drug-resistant bacterial strains that could pose formidable threats to public health.
Healthcare-associated infection, tissue culture plate method, Congo red agar method
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