Objective: to evaluate the prevalence of nasal colonization with Staphylococcus aureus (SA) in active, independent community seniors and old people in a nursing home.
Design: cross-sectional brief questionnaire and screening culture of anterior nares specimens from 165 elders at a community centre and cross-sectional data from a recent survey in a nursing home.
Results: the prevalence of SA colonization in community seniors (27%) was similar to that in the nursing home (29%). The proportion of SA isolates that were methicillin-resistant was much lower in the community seniors (2.3%) than in the nursing-home residents (31%). There was less antibiotic resistance in those living at home.
Conclusion: in community seniors the prevalence of SA colonization was similar to that in nursing-home residents, but the prevalence of methicillin-resistant SA was lower. Susceptibility patterns of antibiotics tested against the SA showed less resistance than isolates from nursing-home patients.