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To determine whether healthy adult nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus can disperse S. aureus into the air after rhinovirus infection.
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.
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Wake Forest University undergraduate or graduate students who had persistent nasal carriage of S. aureus for 4 or 8 weeks.
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).
Virus-induced dispersal of S. aureus into the air may have an important role in the transmission of S. aureus and other bacteria.
We note with sadness that GR-12 was the last important conference for two of the significant figures in physics in the last half of the twentieth century: William M. Fairbank and Eduardo Amaldi. Ironically, they were raised in traditions far removed from general relativity but both had made important experimental contributions to the field during the past twenty years. Fairbank, with Schiff, Cannon, and Everitt, started the investigation that we now call the Stanford Relativity Gyroscope experiment and helped bring it to the point that it will be put into orbit as NASA's Gravity Probe B. He then, with Hamilton, started the cryogenic gravity wave detection project at Stanford to further advance the pioneering experiments of Weber. Amaldi joined with Pizzella to build tuned gravity wave detectors in Italy. When the Italian bureaucracy became too difficult he helped move the experimental laboratory to CERN where it has become the world's strongest program.
In the evening of the next to last day of GR-12 both Fairbank and Amaldi attended a small informal meeting of experimentalists representing all of the major tuned bar groups. The focus of the meeting was to establish times when all of the experiments would be operated in coincidence and to establish protocols for exchanging the data that would be generated by these coincidence experiments. They both expressed great confidence that such a coordinated effort would lead us to the discovery of gravitational waves and the development of gravitational wave astronomy.
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