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Ann Intern Med. 1982 Jun;96(6 Pt 2):940-4.

The epidemiology of genital colonization with Staphylococcus aureus.


The prevalence of genital colonization with Staphylococcus aureus, including strains that have been associated with toxic shock syndrome, was studied in 600 women. Nine percent of these women were colonized with S. aureus, 5% of whom had positive vaginal cultures, and 1% were colonized with toxin-producing strains. Black women were colonized with S. aureus, including toxin-producing strains, as frequently or more frequently than white women. The highest colonization rates occurred in postpartum women. Trends toward increasing colonization occurred in relation to decreasing age and socioeconomic status. There were no statistically significant relationships between genital colonization with S. aureus and the use of tampons, oral contraceptives, or a variety of other personal habits and health problems. Genital cultures taken in consecutive menstrual cycles indicated that 35% of women with S. aureus were persistent carriers, and the rest either intermittent or transient carriers. Toxin-producing S. aureus was also identified in family members of women carrying the same organism. This report defines the prevalence of genital colonization in a large population of women, characterizes the women with S. aureus, and describes epidemiologic features of genital carriage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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