Methicillin-resistant and –sensitive Staphylococcus aureus carriage in the general population – transmission, risk factors and associated infections

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is one of the most commonly isolated human bacterial pathogens. Approximately 10-40% of the people tested as outpatient or on admission into a hospital test positive for the nasal carriage of S. aureus. Nasal S. aureus carriage may serve as an endogenous reservoir for clinical infections or may act as a source for spreading to other patients. In contrast to previous German studies which are mostly conducted in health care settings, we examine S. aureus in the general population. Initially, we conducted a short-term prospective population-based study in Braunschweig (n=405). In this study we aimed to determine various nasal S. aureus (both methicillin-sensitive and –resistant) carriage patterns and risk factors for persistent carriage, its transmission and associated infections in the general population. The study was successfully completed; participants showed high compliance to the study design by providing health related data and serial biospecimens in a period of six months. We will investigate sp. types, toxin production and drug resistance patterns of the S. aureus strains in close collaboration with Robert Koch Institute in Wernigerode. Furthermore, we will closely collaborate with hospitals in Braunschweig and compare S. aureus strains from population- and hospital-based studies.


Robert Koch Institut, Wernigerode
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover