Longitudinal genetic analyses of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage dynamics in a diverse population.
ABSTRACT: Staphylococcus aureus (SA) nasal colonization plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of staphylococcal infections and SA eradication from the nares has proven to be effective in reducing endogenous infections. To understand SA nasal colonization and its relation with consequent disease, assessment of nasal carriage dynamics and genotypic diversity among a diverse population is a necessity.We have performed extensive longitudinal monitoring of SA nasal carriage isolates in 109 healthy individuals over a period of up to three years. Longitudinal sampling revealed that 24% of the individuals were persistent SA nasal carriers while 32% were intermittent. To assess the genetic relatedness between different SA isolates within our cohort, multi locus sequence typing (MLST) was performed. MLST revealed that not only were strains colonizing intermittent and persistent nasal carriers genetically similar, belonging to the same clonal complexes, but strain changes within the same host were also observed over time for both types of carriers. More highly discriminating genetic analyses using the hypervariable regions of staphylococcal protein A and clumping factor B virulence genes revealed no preferential colonization of specific SA strains in persistent or intermittent carriers. Moreover, we observed that a subset of persistent and intermittent carriers retained clinically relevant community-acquired methicillin-resistant SA (CA-MRSA) strains in their nares over time.The findings of this study provides added perspective on the nasal carriage dynamics between strains colonizing persistent and intermittent carriers; an area currently in need of assessment given that persistent carriers are at greater risk of autoinfection than intermittent carriers.
Project description:Background: The anterior nares are the main ecological niche for Staphylococcus aureus, an important commensal and opportunistic pathogen. Medical students are frequently colonized by a variety of pathogens. Microbial interactions in the human nose can prevent or favor colonization by pathogens, and individuals colonized by pathogens have increased risk of infection and are the source of transmission to other community members or susceptible individuals. According to recent studies, the microbiome from several anatomic areas of healthy individuals varies across different ethnicities. Although previous studies analyzed the nasal microbiome in association with S. aureus carriage, those studies did not provide information regarding ethnicity of participants. Our aim was to assess S. aureus nasal carriage patterns and prevalence among medical students from Colombia, a country of Hispanic origin, and to investigate possible associations of colonization and nasal microbiome composition (bacterial and fungal) in a subgroup of students with known S. aureus carriage patterns. Methods: Nasal swabs from second-year medical students were used to determine prevalence and patterns of S. aureus nasal carriage. Based on microbiological results, we assigned participants into one of three patterns of S. aureus colonization: persistent, intermittent, and non-carrier. Then, we evaluated the composition of nasal microbial communities (bacterial and fungal) in 5 individuals from each carriage category using 16S rRNA and Internal-Transcribed-Spacer sequencing. Results: Prevalence of S. aureus nasal carriage among medical students was 28%. Carriage of methicillin-resistant strains was 8.4% and of methicillin-sensitive strains was 19.6%. We identified 19.6% persistent carriers, 17.5% intermittent carriers, and 62.9% non-carriers. Conclusions: Analysis of nasal microbiome found that bacterial and fungal diversity was higher in individuals colonized by S. aureus than in non-carriers; however, the difference among the three groups was non-significant. We confirmed that fungi were present within the healthy anterior nares at substantial biomass and richness.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) colonizes the anterior nares in part of the population and the persistent carrier state is associated with increased infection risk. Knowledge concerning the determinants of S. aureus nasal carriage is limited. Previously, we found that glucocorticoid receptor polymorphisms influence carrier risk, suggesting involvement of glucocorticoids. Our aim was to study long-term cortisol levels in non-carriers, intermittent, and persistent carriers of S. aureus. We hypothesized that cortisol levels are higher in carriers, since cortisol-induced immune suppression would enhance S. aureus colonization. We determined nasal carrier state and long-term hair cortisol levels in 72 healthy subjects. Nasal swabs were collected twice with an interval of 2 weeks. Cortisol levels were determined in hair segments of 3 cm, which corresponds to a period of roughly 3 months. Of all 72 participants, 38 were non-carriers, 10 were intermittent carriers, and 24 were persistent carriers of S. aureus. Cortisol levels did not differ between these carrier groups (p=0.638). Long-term cortisol levels are not associated with S. aureus nasal carriage.
Project description:The nasopharynx is the main ecological niche of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Although colonization of the nares is asymptomatic, nasal carriage is a known risk factor for endogenous staphylococcal infection. We quantified S. aureus mRNA levels in nose swabs of persistent carriers to gain insight into the regulatory adaptation of the bacterium to the nasal environment. We could elucidate a general response of the pathogen to the surrounding milieu independent of the strain background or the human host. Colonizing bacteria preferentially express molecules necessary for tissue adherence or immune-evasion whereas toxins are down regulated. From the analysis of regulatory loci we found evidence for a predominate role of the essential two-component system WalKR of S. aureus. The results suggest that during persistent colonization the bacteria are metabolically active with a high cell surface turnover. The increased understanding of bacterial factors that maintain the colonization state can open new therapeutic options to control nasal carriage and subsequent infections.
Project description:The natural history of contemporary Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization was evaluated in community children during a 1-year period. Methicillin-susceptible S. aureus nasal carriage was more persistent than methicillin-resistant S. aureus nasal carriage, which was usually self-limited. Children with persistent staphylococcal colonization often carried identical strains. Identification of persistent methicillin-resistant S. aureus carriers might inform strategies for decolonization and reduction of staphylococcal transmission.
Project description:Female sex hormones have been related to nasal Staphylococcus aureus carriage in healthy individuals; however, whether nasal staphylococcal carriage varies by menstrual cycle phase remains unknown.We sampled anterior nares of female healthcare workers twice per week for 6 consecutive menstrual cycles. We used mixed-effects Poisson regression models to determine whether intermittent carriage was associated with cycle phases in a given individual. We also performed recurrent event survival analysis to identify host factors linked to incident carriage status.Overall, we collected 754 nasal swabs over 89 consecutive person-cycles from 14 intermittent carriers. In 84 ovulation-defined menstrual cycles (715 swabs), the period prevalence of staphylococcal carriage was 58.7%, 63.1%, and 64.9% in the follicular, periovulatory, and luteal phases, respectively; these differences were not statistically significant after multivariable adjustment and correction for within-person correlation (adjusted relative risk [RR]-periovulatory 0.92, P: 0.30; luteal 1.00, P: 0.98).Using survival analysis, we identified several host factors that were associated with incident loss, gain of colonization, or both. For example, as compared to women aged 20 to 30 years, those aged 30 to 40 years were less likely to losing carriage (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.26, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.09, 0.80) but were as likely to regaining carriage (HR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.21, 1.34). In comparison, being underweight (body mass index [BMI] <18.5) was significantly associated with a higher risk for regaining (HR: 1.95, 95% CI: 1.34, 1.51) and losing (HR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.16, 2.12) colonization, indicating the alternating tendency for status changes. Personal hygiene behaviors, such as nostril cleansing habit and methods, differentially affected carriers' risk for losing or regaining staphylococcal colonization.Using an intensive sampling scheme, we found that nasal staphylococcal carriage could vary substantially over time in healthy carriers. Yet, such dynamic intraperson changes in carriage status did not depend on menstrual cycle phases but were associated with host age, BMI, and personal hygiene behavior.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Nasal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus is a key risk factor for bacteremia. The objective of this study is to identify genomic modifications occurring in nasal carriage strains of S. aureus as they progress to bacteremia in a cohort of hospitalized patients.<h4>Methods</h4>Eight patients with S. aureus bacteremia were identified. Genomic sequences of the bloodstream isolates were compared with 57 nasal isolates collected longitudinally prior to the occurrence of bacteremia, which covered a timespan of up to 326 days before bacteremia.<h4>Results</h4>Within each subject, nasal colonizing strains were closely related to bacteremia strains. Within a subject, the number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) observed between time points was greater than within a single time point. Co-colonization and strain replacement were observed in one case. In all cases colonization progressed to bacteremia without addition of new virulence genes. In one case, a mutation in the accessory gene regulator gene caused abrogation of agr function.<h4>Conclusion</h4>S. aureus evolves in the human nares at a variable rate. Progression of S. aureus nasal colonization to nosocomial infection is seldom associated with acquisition of new virulence determinants. Mutation in the agr gene with abrogation of function was associated with progression to bacteremia in one case.
Project description:Determine the prevalence and relatedness of Staphylococcus aureus anterior nares colonization in individuals with community-associated staphylococcal skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI).Observational cohort.US Army soldiers undergoing infantry training.Trainees who developed SSTI from May 2010 to January 2012.Participants underwent anterior nares culture at the time of presentation for purulent SSTI. We determined the prevalence of S. aureus nasal colonization and strain relatedness between colonizing and clinical isolates with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).We enrolled 1,203 SSTI participants, of whom 508 had culture-confirmed S. aureus SSTI. Overall, 70% (357/508) were colonized with S. aureus. Phenotypically, concordant colonization was more common with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA; 56%; 122/218) than methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) SSTI (41%; 118/290; P < .01). With PFGE, 48% (121 of 254) of clinical-colonizing pairs were indistinguishable, and concordant colonization was more common with MRSA (53%; 92/173) than MSSA SSTI (36%; 29/81; P < .01). Restricting analysis to concomitant MRSA-MRSA or MSSA-MSSA pairs, 92% (92/100) of MRSA SSTI were indistinguishable, and 40% (29/72) MSSA SSTI were indistinguishable (P < .01). All 92 MRSA pairs were USA300.On the phenotypic level, concordant anterior nares colonization with incident staphylococcal SSTI is more common in MSSA than MRSA; however, the opposite is observed when accounting for molecular typing, and MRSA SSTI displays greater concordance. USA300 was responsible for strain concordance with MRSA SSTI. Studies are needed to examine the roles of nasal and extra-nasal carriage, colonization preceding infection, and increased virulence in the pathogenesis of MRSA SSTI.ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01105767.
Project description:The study aimed to determine the natural history of Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization in hemodialysis outpatients. Surveillance cultures were taken from patients presenting for hemodialysis or routine care to identify S. aureus nasal carriers. A prospective cohort study was performed to identify risks for persistent colonization. Detailed microbiologic and molecular studies of colonizing isolates were performed. Only 23/145 (15.9%) dialysis patients were persistently colonized, and only HIV-positive status was associated with persistence (P = 0.05). Prior hospitalization was the only risk factor for methicillin-resistant S. aureus carriage (OR 2.5, P = 0.03). In isolates from patients with ? 42 days of vancomycin exposure, vancomycin minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) increased with duration of exposure. Among dialysis patients, S. aureus colonization was limited and transient; only HIV status was associated with persistence. Nevertheless, duration of vancomycin exposure was associated with increasing vancomycin MBCs. Vancomycin exposure in S. aureus carriers may be involved in increasing resistance.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of bacterial infections worldwide. It is most commonly carried in and transmitted from the anterior nares. Hosts are known to vary in their proclivity for S. aureus nasal carriage and may be divided into persistent carriers, intermittent carriers, and noncarriers, depending on duration of carriage. Mathematical models of S. aureus to predict outcomes of interventions have, however, typically assumed that all individuals are equally susceptible to colonization.To characterize biases created by assuming a homogeneous host population in estimating efficacy of control interventions.Mathematical model.We developed a model of S. aureus carriage in the healthcare setting under the homogeneous assumption as well as a heterogeneous model to account for the 3 types of S. aureus carriers. In both models, we calculated the equilibrium carriage prevalence to predict the impact of control measures (reducing contact and decolonization).The homogeneous model almost always underestimates S. aureus transmissibility and overestimates the impact of intervention strategies in lowering carriage prevalence compared to the heterogeneous model. This finding is generally consistent regardless of changes in model setting that vary the proportions of various carriers in the population and the duration of carriage for these carrier types.Not accounting for host heterogeneity leads to systematic and substantial biases in predictions of the effects of intervention strategies. Further understanding of the clinical impacts of heterogeneity through modeling can help to target control measures and allocate resources more efficiently.
Project description:Due to the increasing prevalence of nosocomial and community-acquired antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus (SA), understanding the determinants of SA nasal carriage has become a major imperative. Previous research has revealed many host and bacterial factors that contribute to SA nasal carriage. To assess bacterial factors that facilitate nasal carriage, we compared the exoproteome of a nasal carrier strain of SA to a genetically similar noncarrier strain. Additionally, the carrier strain biofilm exoproteome was also compared against its planktonic counterpart. Using high throughput proteomics, it was observed that the carrier strain of SA secretes a greater number of proteins that may promote successful colonization of the human nose, including cell attachment and immunoevasive proteins, than the noncarrier strain. Similarly, SA carrier strain biofilm exoproteome contains a greater number of immunoevasive proteins than its planktonic counterpart. Analysis of the most abundant immunoevasive proteins revealed that Staphylococcal protein A was present at significantly higher levels in carrier than in noncarrier strains of SA, suggesting an association with nasal carriage. While further analyses of specific differences between carrier and noncarrier strains of SA are required, many of the differentially expressed proteins identified can be considered to be putative determinants of nasal carriage.