Staphylococcal peritonitis in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis: colonization with identical strains at exit site, nose, and hands

Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Jan;37(1):43-48. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2001.20576.


To evaluate the relationship of nasal or skin Staphylococcus carrier status with identical strains and the development of staphylococcal peritonitis, 59 consecutive peritonitis episodes in patients using a twin-bag system for continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis from a single dialysis center were prospectively studied. Dialysate samples and exit-site, nose, and nail swabs from patients and their dialysis partners were obtained on the same day for culture. When bacteria belonging to the same species of the Staphylococcus genus were isolated from dialysate and at least one extraperitoneal anatomic site, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing was performed. The bacterial strains isolated from catheter exit site, nose, or nails of each patient and his or her dialysis partner were classified as identical or different. Twenty-seven of the 59 peritonitis episodes (46%) were caused by staphylococci. Nineteen of these 27 patients carried the same Staphylococcus species causing the peritonitis episode at the exit site, nose, or nails, but only 17 patients (63%) carried an identical strain. Four of 5 dialysis partners carried the same Staphylococcus species causing the peritonitis episode at nose or nails, but the strain was identical for only 3 dialysis partners (60%). Four patients and 1 dialysis partner carried unrelated strains of the Staphylococcus species causing the peritonitis episode. The most frequently colonized site with strains identical to that causing the peritonitis episode was the catheter exit site, followed by nose and nails. This finding may be clinically relevant because eradication of Staphylococcus aureus colonizing the catheter exit site may be more important and have a greater likelihood of success than maneuvers directed to more distant locations.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State
  • Dialysis Solutions / analysis
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Hand / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Nose / microbiology*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory / adverse effects*
  • Peritonitis / diagnosis
  • Peritonitis / microbiology*
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification*


  • Dialysis Solutions