Nasal carriage of staphylococci

Nasal Carriage of Staphylococci

Staphylococci are a type of bacteria that can cause a wide range of illnesses and infections. One type of staphylococcus is the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus colonize the nasal passages of people and are referred to as nasal carriage. In some cases, it can lead to an infection.

Nasal carriage of staphylococci is very common, with an estimated 30% of the population asymptomatically colonized. People with certain risk factors such as close contact with other people, invasive medical procedures, weakened immune system, and poor hand hygiene practices are more likely to become colonized. Colonization is thought to be facilitated by a variety of factors including contact between persons, petri dish surfaces, and nonhuman reservoir sources.

Nasal carriage of staphylococci is associated with a variety of clinical, social, and economic impacts. It is known to increase the risk of infection with various strains of staphylococci. Colonized individuals may develop a wide range of infections including superficial skin and soft tissue infections, wound infections, post-surgical or post-trauma infections, and urinary tract infections. Additionally, nasal carriage increases the risk of transmission of MRSA to other individuals.

To reduce the risk of nasal carriage of staphylococci, healthcare organizations should promote good hand hygiene practices, including proper use of gloves, gowns, and other personal protective equipment. Additionally, all healthcare personnel should follow infection control protocols and ensure that all healthcare personnel wash their hands before and after contact with patients. Last but not least, healthcare facilities should have policies in place to reduce contact with colonized individuals, such as no-touch policies.


  • Promote good hand hygiene practices
  • Ensure that all healthcare personnel wash their hands before and after contact with patients
  • Utilize gloves, gowns, and other personal protective equipment when appropriate
  • Follow infection control protocols
  • Implement no-touch policies around colonized individuals
  • Encouraging frequent hand washing with soap and water
  • Regular cleaning and decontamination of surfaces to reduce colonization of staphylococci.