Public buses in two major cities in Portugal are often contaminated with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Public buses in two major cities in Portugal are often contaminated with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) representing clones dominant in hospitals in the particular geographic area. MRSA contamination of public transport and the transfer of the bacteria to the hands of passengers may represent a route through which hospital-acquired MRSA clones may spread to the community. This issue is exposed in an article recently published in Publico. The article refers a study published in the journal PLoS ONE, where researchers performed a screening of hand touched surfaces of public buses and of the hands of the passengers. The findings of this study indicate that the most contaminated buses are the ones that have stops at the hospitals.

The researchers responsible for this study state that even a daily thorough cleaning of the buses will not solve this issue as long as the prevalence of MRSA in the hospitals continues to be as high as it currently is (over 50%).