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Nasal and skin carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by patients undergoing surgical operation

  • Sheila Polakoff (a1), I. D. G. Richards (a1), M. T. Parker (a1) and O. M. Lidwell (a1)

Extract

Nasal, perineal, axillary and hand swabs collected from 361 patients immediately before operation were examined for Staphylococcus aureus.

The organism was isolated more often from all three skin sites in nasal carriers of Staph. aureus than in non-carriers.

Twelve per cent of the patients, and 4 % of those with negative nose swabs were perineal carriers. Two per cent were heavy perineal carriers of Staph. aureus strains which could not be isolated by direct culture from a nasal swab. Staphylococcal strains from these heavy, independent, perineal carriers were more often resistant to tetracycline than were strains from nasal carriers.

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References

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Bøe, J., Solberg, C. O., Vogelsang, T. M. & Wormnes, A. (1964). Perineal carriers of staphylococci. Br. med. J. ii, 280.
Hare, R. & Ridley, M. (1958). Further studies on the transmission of Staph. aureus. Br. med. J. i, 69.
Lidwell, O. M., Polakoff, S., Jevons, M. P., Parker, M. T., Shooter, R. A., French, V. I. & Dunkerley, D. R. (1966). Staphylococcal infection in thoracic surgery: experience in a subdivided ward. J. Hyg., Camb. 64, 321.
Lidwell, O. M., Polakoff, S. & Richards, I. D. G. (1967). Comparison of three ventilating systems in an operating room. J. Hyg., Camb. 65, 193.
Ridley, M. (1959). Perineal carriage of Staph. aureus. Br. med. J. i, 270.
Shooter, R. A., Thom, B. T., Dunkerley, D. R., Taylor, G. W., Parker, M. T., John, M. & Richards, I. D. G. (1963). Pre-operative segregation of patients in a surgical ward. Br.med. J. ii, 1567.
Solberg, C. O. (1965). A study of carriers of Staphylococcus aureus. Acta med. scand. Suppl. 436.
Williams, R. E. O. & Rippon, J. E. (1952). Bacteriophage typing of Staphylococcus aureus. J. Hyg., Camb. 50, 320.

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