Diversity of Human Skin Microbiota in Healthcare Workers of South Punjab, Pakistan during COVID-19
Anosh Arshad Chaudhary, Iqra Arooj, Amina Elahi, Saadia Ijaz, Humaira Yasmeen
Human skin microflora plays important role in the functioning of skin and is modulated by several intrinsic and extrinsic factors including hygiene practices. During Covid-19 pandemic, focus has been particularly directed towards improving hygiene. We explored the skin microflora of healthcare workers in local population of Multan, Pakistan. A total of 44 samples of skin were collected from healthy workers along with the administration of questionnaire regarding hygiene practices. After isolation, bacteria were characterized by morphology, staining and
biochemical tests. Majority of the workers was 20-30 years old females. Most of them reported to wear gloves during practice, wash hands 8-10 times a day, use sanitizer 8-10 times a week and took bath 12-15 times a month. Isolated microflora (n=110) included Staphylococcus aureus (62%), Escherichia coli (16%), Pseudomonas spp. (9%), Proteus spp. (5%), Enterobacter spp. (5%) and Klebsiella spp. (3%). Presence of pathogens, although in small numbers, emphasizes the necessity of disseminating knowledge regarding adoption and maintenance of hygienic practices, specifically among healthcare workers.