Background: Transition of medical students from a non-clinical to a clinical situation carries a considerable risk that needs further investigation. This study aims to detect and compare the throat bacterial colonization between medical students and patients' accompaniers in a tertiary hospital.
Methods: Across-sectional descriptive study was conducted at the outpatient clinics of the Baquba Teaching Hospital at the Faculty of Medicine, Diyala University, Iraq. A total of 120 throat swabs collected from a sample of 70 medical students (fifth stage) and 50 volunteers as a control group who were selected conveniently during their outpatient visits over September 2018. Aerobic and anaerobic culture methods were recruited to investigate the samples following the standard microbiological procedures.
Results: Finding of this study indicate a high rate of bacterial throat colonization among medical students compared to the control group. Male gender showed high susceptibility for infection than females. The most common bacteria isolated among medical students were Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli 26 (37.1%), followed by Streptococcus pneumonia appeared in 23 samples (32.8%), Viridians streptococci 19 (27.1%), Acinetobacter spp.14 (20%), Enterobacter spp. 4 (5.7%), Candida spp. 3 (4.2%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa 2 (2.8%) respectively.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that medical students may contribute significantly to the transmission and dissemination of nosocomial pathogens among patients and vice versa.