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Dispersal of Staphylococcus aureus Into the Air Associated With a Rhinovirus Infection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2016

Stefano Bassetti
Affiliation:
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Werner E. Bischoff
Affiliation:
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Mark Walter
Affiliation:
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Barbara A. Bassetti-Wyss
Affiliation:
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Lori Mason
Affiliation:
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Beth A. Reboussin
Affiliation:
Section on Biostatistics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Ralph B. D'Agostino
Affiliation:
Section on Biostatistics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Jack M. Gwaltney
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology and Virology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Michael A. Pfaller
Affiliation:
Medical Microbiology Division, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa
Robert J. Sherertz
Affiliation:
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objective:

To determine whether healthy adult nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus can disperse S. aureus into the air after rhinovirus infection.

Design:

We investigated the “cloud” phenomenon among adult nasal carriers of S. aureus experimentally infected with a rhinovirus. Eleven volunteers were studied for 16 days in an airtight chamber wearing street clothes, sterile garb, or sterile garb plus surgical mask; rhinovirus inoculation occurred on day 2. Daily quantitative air, nasal, and skin cultures for S. aureus; cold symptom assessment; and nasal rhinovirus cultures were performed.

Setting:

Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Participants:

Wake Forest University undergraduate or graduate students who had persistent nasal carriage of S. aureus for 4 or 8 weeks.

Results:

After rhinovirus inoculation, dispersal of S. aureus into the air increased 2-fold with peak increases up to 34-fold. Independent predictors of S. aureus dispersal included the time period after rhinovirus infection and wearing street clothes (P < .05). Wearing barrier garb but not a mask decreased dispersal of S. aureus into the air (P < .05).

Conclusion:

Virus-induced dispersal of S. aureus into the air may have an important role in the transmission of S. aureus and other bacteria.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2005

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