Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 46(5):637-640, Sep-Oct, 2013http://dx.doi. org/10.1590/0037-8682-1607-2013 Ants in a hospital environment and their potential as mechanical bacterial vectors
ABSTRACT Introduction:We studied the richness and abundance of ant species, their bacteria and the bacteria isolated from patient clinical samples. Methods: Ants were collected with baited traps at 64 sites in a public hospital in São Luis, State of Maranhão, Brazil. Results: In total, 1,659 ants from 14 species were captured. The most frequent species were Crematogaster victima, Solenopsis saevissima, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Camponotus vittatus and Paratrechina fulva. Forty-one species of bacteria were isolated from the ants and 18 from patients. Conclusions: Ants are potential vehicles for pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria, and they can represent a risk factor in nosocomial infections.
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