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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2005 Feb;26(2):196-203.

Dispersal of Staphylococcus aureus into the air associated with a rhinovirus infection.

Author information

1
Section on Infectious Diseases, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether healthy adult nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus can disperse S. aureus into the air after rhinovirus infection.

DESIGN:

We investigated the "cloud" phenomenon among adult nasal carriers of S. aureus experimentally infected with a rhinovirus. Eleven volunteers were studied for 16 days in an airtight chamber wearing street clothes, sterile garb, or sterile garb plus surgical mask; rhinovirus inoculation occurred on day 2. Daily quantitative air, nasal, and skin cultures for S. aureus; cold symptom assessment; and nasal rhinovirus cultures were performed.

SETTING:

Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

PARTICIPANTS:

Wake Forest University undergraduate or graduate students who had persistent nasal carriage of S. aureus for 4 or 8 weeks.

RESULTS:

After rhinovirus inoculation, dispersal of S. aureus into the air increased 2-fold with peak increases up to 34-fold. Independent predictors of S. aureus dispersal included the time period after rhinovirus infection and wearing street clothes (P < .05). Wearing barrier garb but not a mask decreased dispersal of S. aureus into the air (P < .05).

CONCLUSION:

Virus-induced dispersal of S. aureus into the air may have an important role in the transmission of S. aureus and other bacteria.

PMID:
15756892
DOI:
10.1086/502526
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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