Journal of Hygiene

Research Article

Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus in random samples of a normal population*

W. C. Noblea1, H. A. Valkenburga2 and Caroline H. L. Woltersa2

a1 St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, London, England

a2 Department of Microbial Diseases, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands

Nose, throat and finger carriage of Staphylococcus aureus was investigated in a series of random samples from a normal European population.

No evidence for a seasonal trend in carriage was found but the intersample variation between successive random samples was obtained. The mean nasal carrier rate was 29 % with a standard deviation of 7 %.

No association was found between nasal or throat carriage of staphylococci and stay in hospital or antibiotic therapy but respondents with penicillin-resistant staphylococci in the nose had skin infections more frequently than those with penicillin-sensitive strains.

Evidence was obtained for a family, perhaps genetic, ‘predisposition’ to carry staphylococci in the nose.

(Received June 14 1967)


* This study was in part supported by the Organization for Health Research T.N.O.