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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