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This study was carried out to evaluate the level of asepsis at various stages of the surgical procedures during the undergraduate students’ wet-lab sessions. Skin and/or wound swabs were collected from different wet lab groups, sessions and stages. The swabs were processed for bacteriological isolation using standard microbiological procedures. A total of 62 isolates of bacteria belonging to 8 genera: Staphylococcus (n=38), Streptococcus (n=1), Corynebacterium n=4), Escherichia (n=7), Proteus (n=8), Klebsiella (n=2), Serratia (n=1) and Acinetobacter (1), were isolated. The most commonly isolated species of bacteria were Staphylococcus equorum (n=31) and Proteus spp. (n=7), which were detected in swabs from ungloved and gloved hands of surgeon and his assistant, patient’s surgical sites and surgical site infections. All the isolates (Gram-positive and negative) were resistant to at least one antibiotic with resistance to the β-lactam antibiotics: ampicillin (89.3% and 100% and amoxicillin (75% and 100%) most observed. The bacteria were more susceptible to doxycycline (75%) and imipenem (87.5%) respectively. Majority of the isolates (83.3%, n=30) were multidrug resistant, presenting in one of 24 different multidrug resistance patterns. The detection of these bacteria from the normally aseptic surgical procedure indicates a break in asepsis. Similarly, the danger of spreading multidrug resistant bacteria to the surgical wounds may result in wound infection, dehiscence, delayed healing and increased cost of post-surgical management. It is recommended that adherence to stringent pre-surgical and intra-surgical asepsis should be observed.
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