Background: Studies have reported higher rates of diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) amongst Maori and Pacific people, compared with people of other ethnicities.
Aim: We aimed to estimate the prevalence of nasal carriage and to explore demographic differences between S. aureus carriers and non-carriers in Auckland, New Zealand.
Materials and methods: Nasal swab specimens were obtained from healthy population volunteers, who did not have recent healthcare contact. Each participant completed a short questionnaire.
Results: 78/424 (18%; 95%CI, 15-22) S. aureus carriers were identified. Female participants were less likely to be S. aureus carriers than males; but there were no differences in the ages or ethnic groups between S. aureus carriers and non-carriers. Socioeconomic deprivation, recent non-hospital healthcare contact and past history of S. aureus infection were not associated with S. aureus carriage.
Conclusion: Ethnic variation in the prevalence of S. aureus nasal carriage does not contribute to an increased risk of disease caused by S. aureus.