What determines nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus?

Sharon J. Peacock*, Ishani De Silva, Franklin D. Lowy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

273 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-610
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I.S. is funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship. FDL is supported by grants DA09656 and DA11868 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a Grant-In-Aid from the American Heart Association.


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