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Research Article Open Access
Pathogenic microorganisms implicated in most diseases are transferable through contact with infected persons or objects. In this study, door handles in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Amina female hostel in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria were evaluated for the presence of Staphylococcus aureus and their antibiotics susceptibility profile was tested, using standard microbiological methods. The results showed that out of the 143 door handles sampled (Amina female hostel = 89, Pharmacy main block = 40, Pharmacy old block = 14), the incidence of Staphylococcus aureus was 50.7%(34) [with highest occurrence in Amina female hostel (35.8%), followed by Pharmacy main block (8.9%) and Pharmacy old block (6.0%)], E. coli was observed to be the second most common organism (9%) followed by Shigella dysentery 7.5%, while Salmonella typhi, Seretia spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were both 6% respectively. The antibiotic susceptibility profile of the isolates showed that they were 100% susceptible to Ciprofloxacin, Erythromycin and Tetracycline, 97% susceptible to Mupirocin, and Cotrimoxazole, and 92% to Pefloxacin and Oxacillin. Their levels of resistance to these antibiotics were very low (3% resistance to Mupirocin and Cotrimoxazole, 8% to Pefloxacin and Oxacillin), while their resistances to Amoxicillin, Cefuroxin sodium and Cefotaxime were very high (100%). An evaluation of the pattern of resistance of the isolates showed that 76.5% of the isolates had MAR index of ≤0.4 while 70.6% of the isolates were multidrug resistant; exhibiting resistance to some commonly used Fluoroquinolone, Cephalosporine (CEP), and Betalactam/Betalactamase inhibitors (BET) groups of antibiotics (73.5%). The high incidence of Staphylococcus aureus in this study suggests poor hygiene among students, and the possibility of transferring pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus through door handles in a densely populated environ during disease outbreak is probable. To curb the spread of pathogenic and resistant Staph. aureus, this study suggests that door handles in A.B.U, Zaria should be replaced with silver coated surfaces with antimicrobial properties, and frequent use of disinfectant/hand sanitizer is recommended. Also proper periodic antibiotic surveillance should be encouraged to have referable documentaries in disease outbreak.