The frequency and distribution of yeast carriage on the hands of hospital personnel working in intensive care unit (ICUs), was investigated. Hand carriage of yeast and Candida species was 46 and 29%, respectively. Rhodotorula sp. and Candida parapsilosis were most frequently recovered. There was no significant difference in frequency or distribution of yeasts and Candida sp. recovered among the three ICUs. Seventeen C. parapsilosis isolates and three Candida albicans isolates were genotyped by electrophoretic karyotyping using contour-clamped homogenous electric-field gel ectrophoresis. Eleven separate types of C. parapsilosis and two types of C. albicans were identified. There was no common genotypes among these isolates, even within the same unit. We conclude that yeast carriage on the hands of personnel working in ICUs is common, but these yeasts are usually not acquired from a common source in the ICU.
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