What determines nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus?

Trends Microbiol. 2001 Dec;9(12):605-10. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(01)02254-5.


Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is an important risk factor for infection by this organism in both community and hospital settings; this article reviews the role of host and bacterial factors in carriage. A host genetic influence appears likely but the phenotypic determinants are unknown. Possibilities include variability in host adhesins, immune response or secretion of antimicrobial molecules. Colonization resistance by S. aureus, together with the observation that persistent carriers often carry a single strain whereas intermittent carriers can be colonized with unrelated strains over time, suggests that bacterial factors could also be involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / microbiology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Nasal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Nose / microbiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification