Bacterial ecology of hospital workers' facial hair: A cross-sectional study

E. Wakeam, R. A. Hernandez, D. Rivera Morales, S. R G Finlayson, M. Klompas, M. J. Zinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is unknown whether healthcare workers' facial hair harbours nosocomial pathogens. We compared facial bacterial colonization rates among 408 male healthcare workers with and without facial hair. Workers with facial hair were less likely to be colonized with Staphylococcus aureus (41.2% vs 52.6%, P=0.02) and meticillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (2.0% vs 7.0%, P=0.01). Colonization rates with Gram-negative organisms were low for all healthcare workers, and Gram-negative colonization rates did not differ by facial hair type. Overall, colonization is similar in male healthcare workers with and without facial hair; however, certain bacterial species were more prevalent in workers without facial hair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Bacterial ecology
  • Facial hair
  • Healthcare workers
  • Hospital-acquired infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Wakeam, E., Hernandez, R. A., Rivera Morales, D., Finlayson, S. R. G., Klompas, M., & Zinner, M. J. (2014). Bacterial ecology of hospital workers' facial hair: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Hospital Infection, 87(1), 63-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2014.02.010