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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2010 Jan-Feb;28(1 Suppl 57):51-5.

Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus and endonasal activity in Wegener s granulomatosis as compared to rheumatoid arthritis and chronic Rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany.



Nasal colonisation with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has been implicated in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) disease activity. In this study, the frequency of nasal colonisation with S. aureus in WG was compared to healthy and disease control groups for the first time. Moreover, endonasal activity was correlated to colonisation.


Nasal carriage of S. aureus of a well-defined group of 89 patients with WG was compared to 40 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRS), 35 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 50 hospital staff members and 25 subjects without regular hospital contact and correlation analysis of nasal carriage and endonasal activity of WG was performed.


WG patients showed significantly higher rates (72%) of nasal colonisation with S. aureus compared to CRS patients (28%) and healthy subjects without regular hospital contact (25%, 95%-CI), but not to RA patients (46%) and hospital staff members (58%). WG patients with nasal carriage of S. aureus had significantly higher endoscopically proven endonasal activity (p=0.01), significantly more often first manifestation of WG in the upper respiratory tract (p=0.02) and higher relapse-rates (p=0.052) than WG patients without such carriage.


Endonasal activity in WG is associated with higher nasal S. aureus colonisation rates and subsequent higher relapse rates. The higher frequency of S. aureus colonisation could be a consequence of a recently shown mucosal barrier defect in WG and facilitate chronic inflammation and granuloma formation in the upper respiratory tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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