Nasal Carriage of Staphylococcus Aureus as a Major Risk Factor for Wound Infections After Cardiac Surgery

J Infect Dis. 1995 Jan;171(1):216-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/171.1.216.


To evaluate the importance of nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus as a risk factor for the development of wound infection at the sternotomy site after cardiac surgery, a case-control study was done. The study population consisted of 1980 consecutive patients. Cases were all patients who developed a sternal wound infection from which S. aureus was cultured. Forty cases were identified, and 120 controls were selected. Preoperative nasal carriage of S. aureus, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and younger age were identified as significant risk factors. The crude odds ratio of nasal carriage was 9.6 (95% confidence interval, 3.9-23.7). The median postoperative length of hospital stay for cases was 30 days longer than for controls. Mortality was also significantly higher for cases than for controls (10.0% and 0.8%, respectively).

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage Typing
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / mortality
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Nose / microbiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcus aureus / classification
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology*