Staphylococcus aureus is a human commensal bacterium found in the nasal cavity and other body sites. Identifying risk factors for S. aureus nasal carriage is of interest, as nasal carriage is a risk factor for subsequent invasive infection. We recently investigated the influence of host genetics on S. aureus carriage in Danish middle-aged and elderly twins, which indicated no significant heritability that could account for the observed S. aureus carriage. In the present study, we performed a questionnaire-based study of S. aureus colonization on the same cohort of 2,196 Danish middle-aged and elderly twins to identify specific risk factors for S. aureus nasal colonization, including analyzing the paired twins (n = 478) that were discordant for S. aureus colonization. We found associations between risk factors and S. aureus nasal colonization among middle-aged and elderly twins, including age, male gender, psoriasis, and atopic diseases. Also, present living on a farm is clearly associated with S. aureus colonization, while smoking had a borderline statistically significant protective effect.
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Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is a major risk factor for invasive S. aureus disease. The aim of this study was to define factors associated with carriage. We conducted a prospective, longitudinal community-based study of infants and their mothers for a period of 6 months following delivery. The epidemiology of carriage was examined for 100 infant-mother pairs. Infant carriage varied significantly with age, falling from 40 to 50% during the first 8 weeks to 21% by 6 months. Determinants of infant S. aureus carriage included maternal carriage, breastfeeding, and number of siblings. Bacterial typing of S. aureus was performed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. The majority of individuals carried a single strain of S. aureus over time, and the mother was the usual source for colonizing isolates in infants. The effect of other components of the normal nasal flora on the development of S. aureus carriage was examined in 157 consecutive infants. Negative associations (putative bacterial interference) between S. aureus and other species occurred early in infancy but were not sustained. An increasing antistaphylococcal effect observed over time was not attributable to bacterial interference. S. aureus carriage in infants is likely to be determined by a combination of host, environmental, and bacterial factors, but bacterial interference does not appear to be an ultimate determinant of carrier status.
Studies of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage have distinguished three carriage patterns: persistent, intermittent, and noncarriage. The criteria used to identify these carriage patterns have been inconsistent. In 1988 the S. aureus nasal carrier index, i.e., the proportion of nasal swab specimen cultures yielding S. aureus, was determined for 91 staff members of various departments of a large university hospital by obtaining weekly nasal swab specimens for culture over a 12-week period. Thirty-three (36%) persons had carrier indices of 0.80 or higher, 15 (17%) had indices between 0.1 and 0.7, and 43 (47%) had indices of zero. In 1995, 17 individuals with carrier indices of 0.80 or higher in 1988 were available for reexamination. For 12 (71%) of these individuals, S. aureus was again isolated from a single nasal swab, i.e., from each individual with a 1988 carrier index of 1.0 but from only half of those with indices below 1.0. Genotyping (by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) of all S. aureus strains showed that strains isolated from only three individuals, all with 1988 carrier indices of 1.0, in 1988 and 1995 showed genetic similarity. In conclusion, persistent S. aureus nasal carriage is a unique characteristic of a fraction of the population, and the attribute “persistent” should be confined to those individuals for whom serial nasal swab specimen cultures consistently yield S. aureus.
To determine the relative importance of environmental and genetic effects in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Historical cohort study with record linkage between a twin registry and the Danish discharge registry as well as the Danish national registry of deaths used to estimate completeness.
Two population based nationwide twin birth cohorts.
37 338 twins were sent a questionnaire about rheumatic diseases. Self reported rheumatoid arthritis was verified by clinical examination and from medical records.
Main outcome measures
The probandwise concordance rate of rheumatoid arthritis in monozygotic and dizygotic twins.
The response rate was 84.7%. Rheumatoid arthritis was verified in 13 monozygotic and 36 dizygotic twins. There were no concordant monozygotic twin pairs and two concordant dizygotic twin pairs. Based on capture-recapture methods the probability of ascertainment was 78.3%. The probandwise concordance rate was 0 (95% confidence interval 0 to 24.7) in monozygotic twins and 8.8 (1.9 to 23.7) in dizygotic twins.
Genes are of minor importance in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
What is already known on this topicRheumatoid arthritis is a multifactorial disease determined by both genetic and environmental factorsPrevious twin studies have shown a higher concordance for rheumatoid arthritis in monozygotic than in dizygotic twins, but the results have been biased in favour of genetic effectsWhat this paper addsAs concordance for rheumatoid arthritis in this study was no more common in monozygotic twins than in dizygotic twins environmental effects may be more important than genetic effects in the development of rheumatoid arthritis
To disentangle the influences on health of selection processes related to genetic and rearing environmental factors from factors related to marriage benefits. We compared health status among same-sex male and female twin pairs who lived together during childhood and were discordant or concordant on adult marital status.
A cross-sectional survey of a random sample of middle-aged Danish twins was conducted in 1998 to 1999. This study included 1175 same-sex twin pairs (52.5% monozygotic (MZ) and 47.5% dizygotic (DZ)). Data were obtained on adult marital status and on height, body mass index (BMI), depression symptoms, self-rated health, cognitive function, physical activity, smoking, and alcohol intake.
Among all 2350 individual twins, men who were divorced/widowed or never married had higher depression scores, lower cognitive test scores, lower physical activity scores, and were also less often moderate drinkers and nonsmokers compared with married men. Divorced/widowed women had higher depression scores and those divorced/widowed or never married were more often smokers than married women. Within twin pairs discordant on marital status, the divorced/widowed twin had higher average depression scores and was more likely to be a smoker. Never married twins had lower physical activity scores and never married male twins had higher BMI and higher depression scores than their married co-twin.
This study suggests that the relationships of adult divorce with depression and smoking in Danish twins are due to the stressful effects of marital dissolution, but that marital differences in other health and behavioral outcomes are most consistent with selection effects related to genetic or rearing environmental factors.
marital status; health status; twin study
Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is a major risk factor in clinical and community settings due to the range of etiologies caused by the organism. We have identified unique immunological and ultrastructural properties associated with nasal carriage isolates denoting a role for bacterial factors in nasal carriage. However, despite extensive molecular level characterizations by several groups suggesting factors necessary for colonization on nasal epithelium, genetic determinants of nasal carriage are unknown. Herein, we have set a genomic foundation for unraveling the bacterial determinants of nasal carriage in S. aureus.
MLST analysis revealed no lineage specific differences between carrier and non-carrier strains suggesting a role for mobile genetic elements. We completely sequenced a model carrier isolate (D30) and a model non-carrier strain (930918-3) to identify differential gene content. Comparison revealed the presence of 84 genes unique to the carrier strain and strongly suggests a role for Type VII secretion systems in nasal carriage. These genes, along with a putative pathogenicity island (SaPIBov) present uniquely in the carrier strains are likely important in affecting carriage. Further, PCR-based genotyping of other clinical isolates for a specific subset of these 84 genes raise the possibility of nasal carriage being caused by multiple gene sets.
Our data suggest that carriage is likely a heterogeneic phenotypic trait and implies a role for nucleotide level polymorphism in carriage. Complete genome level analyses of multiple carriage strains of S. aureus will be important in clarifying molecular determinants of S. aureus nasal carriage.
Investigations regarding Staphylococcus aureus carriage among Brazilian children are scarce. We evaluated the determinants of S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage in infants attending day care centers (DCCs) and the molecular features of the MRSA strains. A total of 1,192 children aged 2 months to 5 years attending 62 DCCs were screened for S. aureus and MRSA nasal carriage. MRSA isolates were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multilocus sequence typing, spa typing, staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) mec typing and the presence of the Panton-Valentine leukocidin gene. Logistic regression was performed to determine risk factors associated with S. aureus and MRSA colonization. S. aureus and MRSA carriage were detected in 371 (31.1%) and 14 (1.2%) children, respectively. Variables found to be independently associated with an increased risk for S. aureus carriage included being older than 24 months (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 2.6) and previous DCC attendance (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.2). Having a mother with a high level of education was a protective factor for nasal colonization (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 0.8). Moreover, we observed that more children carrying MRSA had younger siblings than children not colonized by MRSA. Among the 14 MRSA strains, three SCCmec types (IIIA, IV, and V) were detected, together with a multidrug-resistant dominant MRSA lineage sharing 82.7% genetic similarity with the Brazilian clone (ST239-MRSA-IIIA; ST indicates the sequence type determined by multilocus sequence typing). Although SCCmec type V was recovered from one healthy child who had been exposed to known risk factors for hospital-associated MRSA, its genetic background was compatible with community-related MRSA. Our data suggest that DCC attendees could be contributing to MRSA cross-transmission between health care and community settings.
Epidemiological data on community acquired methicillin-resistant-Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) carriage and infection in the Middle-East region is scarce with only few reports in the Israeli and Palestinian populations. As part of a Palestinian-Israeli collaborative research, we have conducted a cross-sectional survey of nasal S. aureus carriage in healthy children and their parents throughout the Gaza strip. Isolates were characterized for antibiotic susceptibility, mec gene presence, PFGE, spa type, SCCmec-type, presence of PVL genes and multi-locus-sequence-type (MLST). S. aureus was carried by 28.4% of the 379 screened children-parents pairs. MRSA was detected in 45% of S. aureus isolates, that is, in 12% of the study population. A single ST22-MRSA-IVa, spa t223, PVL-gene negative strain was detected in 64% of MRSA isolates. This strain is typically susceptible to all non-β-lactam antibiotics tested. The only predictor for MRSA carriage in children was having an MRSA carrier-parent (OR = 25.5, P = 0.0004). Carriage of the Gaza strain was not associated with prior hospitalization. The Gaza strain was closely related genetically to a local MSSA spa t223 strain and less so to EMRSA15, one of the pandemic hospital-acquired-MRSA clones, scarcely reported in the community. The rapid spread in the community may be due to population determinants or due to yet unknown advantageous features of this particular strain.
OBJECTIVE--To study the genetic contribution to the aetiology of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. DESIGN--Historical cohort study of twins, with information on diabetes being gathered by questionnaire, verification of the diagnosis by the subject's diabetologist or general practitioner, and clinical examination in available twins. SETTING--Danish twin register and diabetic clinics and general practices throughout Denmark. SUBJECTS--20,888 twin pairs born during 1953-82, included in a population based nationwide register. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Crude and cumulative concordance rates and heritability in monozygotic and dizygotic twins. RESULTS--The crude probandwise concordance rate was 0.53 (95% confidence interval 0.33 to 0.73) for monozygotic twin pairs and 0.11 (0.05 to 0.21) for dizygotic twin pairs. When adjusted for age at onset of diabetes and age at last observation among unaffected twin partners the cumulative proband-wise risk from birth to age 35 was estimated as 0.70 (0.45 to 0.95) for monozygotic twins and 0.13 (0.05 to 0.20) for dizygotic twins. The correlations of liability for monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs were estimated as 0.96 (SE 0.09) and 0.58 (0.07), with a heritability estimate of 0.72 (0.21). CONCLUSIONS--The risk of insulin dependent diabetes in monozygotic twins is higher than previously thought and for dizygotic twins is higher than in ordinary first degree relatives. Based on the findings of this study the genetic component to the disease seems more important than hitherto believed.
Staphylococcus aureus is a major agent of bovine mastitis. The concomitant emergence of pig-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in human carriage and infection requires a reexamination of the host range and specificity of human- and cow-associated S. aureus strains, something which has not been systematically studied previously. The genetic relatedness of 500 S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis cases, 57 isolates from nasal carriage of farmers, and 133 isolates from nonfarmers was determined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and spa typing. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was conducted on a subset of isolates to match AFLP clusters with MLST clonal complexes (CCs). This data set allowed us to study host range and host specificity and to estimate the extent of bovine-to-human transmission. The genotype compositions of S. aureus isolates from farmers and nonfarmers were very similar, while the mastitis isolates were quite distinct. Overall, transmission was low, but specific genotypes did show increased cow-to-human transmission. Unexpectedly, more than one-third of mastitis isolates belonged to CC8, a lineage which has not been considered to be bovine mastitis associated, but it is well known from human carriage and infection (i.e., USA300). Despite the fact that we did detect some transmission of other genotypes from cows to farmers, no transmission of CC8 isolates to farmers was detected, except for one tentative case. This was despite the close genetic relatedness of mastitis CC8 strains to nonfarmer carriage strains. These results suggest that the emergence of the new bovine-adapted genotype was due to a recent host shift from humans to cows concurrent with a loss of the ability to colonize humans. More broadly, our results indicate that host specificity is a lineage-specific trait that can rapidly evolve.
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 non-carrier 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 non-carrier 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 non-carrier strains of SA, suggesting an association with nasal carriage. While further analyses of specific differences between carrier and non-carrier strains of SA are required, many of the differentially expressed proteins identified can be considered to be putative determinants of nasal carriage.
Innate immunity; bacteria/bacterial immunity; comparative proteomics; nasal colonization; exoproteome
Vitamin D induces the expression of antimicrobial peptides with activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Thus, we studied the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and S. aureus nasal colonization and carriage. Nasal swabs, blood samples and clinical data from 2,115 women and 1,674 men, aged 30–87 years, were collected in the Tromsø Staph and Skin Study 2007–08, as part of the population-based sixth Tromsø Study. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were stratified by recognized risk factors for S. aureus carriage: sex, age and smoking. In non-smoking men, we observed a 6.6% and 6.7% decrease in the probability of S. aureus colonization and carriage, respectively, by each 5 nmol/l increase in serum 25(OH)D concentration (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001), and serum 25(OH)D > 59 nmol/l and ≥75 nmol/l as thresholds for ~30% and ~50% reduction in S. aureus colonization and carriage. In non-smoking men aged 44–60 years, the odds ratio for S. aureus colonization was 0.44 (95% confidence interval, 0.28−0.69) in the top tertile of serum 25(OH)D versus the bottom tertile. In women and smokers there were no such associations. Our study supports that serum vitamin D is a determinant of S. aureus colonization and carriage.
Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage is a risk factor for infection in humans, particularly in the hospital environment. Attenuation of carriage has proven effective in reducing the prevalence of infection in some high-risk groups. To study staphylococcal factors that influence nasal colonization, a mouse model of S. aureus nasal colonization was developed. Mice were inoculated intranasally with S. aureus Reynolds, and nasal carriage was evaluated by quantitating cultures of the nasal tissues from mice sacrificed at various time points after inoculation. The majority of mice inoculated with 108 CFU of S. aureus maintained nasal carriage for at least 20 days. Nasal colonization rates were similar for inbred (BALB/c and C57BL/6) and outbred (ICR) mice. Colonization was not affected by mouse passage of strain Reynolds. Lower inoculum doses (<107 CFU) resulted in reduced colonization after 7 days. However, mice given streptomycin in their drinking water developed long-term carriage of S. aureus, and they were colonized with inocula as low as 105 CFU. Nasal colonization was also established with two other S. aureus strains (one strain each of human and murine origins). S. aureus recovered from the nares of experimentally colonized mice expressed high levels of capsule, and the ability of a capsule-defective mutant to persist in the nares was reduced in comparison to that of the parent strain. This nasal colonization model should prove useful for studies of factors that mediate S. aureus colonization and for assessment of targets for antimicrobial intervention or vaccine development.
Pandemic community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates (CA-MRSA) predominantly encode the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), which can be associated with severe infections. Reports from non-indigenous Sub-Saharan African populations revealed a high prevalence of PVL-positive isolates. The objective of our study was to investigate the S. aureus carriage among a remote indigenous African population and to determine the molecular characteristics of the isolates, particularly those that were PVL-positive.
Nasal S. aureus carriage and risk factors of colonization were systematically assessed in remote Gabonese Babongo Pygmies. Susceptibility to antibiotics, possession of toxin-encoding genes (i.e., PVL, enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins), S. aureus protein A (spa) types and multi-locus sequence types (MLST) were determined for each isolate. The carriage rate was 33%. No MRSA was detected, 61.8% of the isolates were susceptible to penicillin. Genes encoding PVL (55.9%), enterotoxin B (20.6%), exfoliative toxin D (11.7%) and the epidermal cell differentiation inhibitor B (11.7%) were highly prevalent. Thirteen spa types were detected and were associated with 10 STs predominated by ST15, ST30, ST72, ST80, and ST88.
The high prevalence of PVL-positive isolates among Babongo Pygmies demands our attention as PVL can be associated with necrotinzing infection and may increase the risk of severe infections in remote Pygmy populations. Many S. aureus isolates from Babongo Pygmies and pandemic CA-MRSA-clones have a common genetic background. Surveillance is needed to control the development of resistance to antibiotic drugs and to assess the impact of the high prevalence of PVL in indigenous populations.
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that colonizes humans worldwide. The anterior nares are its main ecological niche. Carriers of S. aureus are at a higher risk of developing invasive infections. Few reports indicated a different clonal structure and profile of virulence factors in S. aureus isolates from Sub-Saharan Africa. As there are no data about isolates from remote indigenous African populations, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of S. aureus nasal carriage in Gabonese Babongo Pygmies. The isolates were characterized regarding their susceptibility to antibiotic agents, possession of virulence factors and clonal lineage. While similar carriage rates were found in populations of industrialized countries, isolates that encode the genes for the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) were clearly more prevalent than in European countries. Of interest, many methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates from Babongo Pygmies showed the same genetic background as pandemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) clones. We advocate a surveillance of S. aureus in neglected African populations to control the development of resistance to antibiotic drugs with particular respect to MRSA and to assess the impact of the high prevalence of PVL-positive isolates.
Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus is an important risk factor for S. aureus infections. Mupirocin nasal ointment is presently the treatment of choice for decolonizing the anterior nares. However, recent clinical trials show limited benefit from mupirocin prophylaxis in preventing nosocomial S. aureus infections, probably due to (re)colonization from extranasal carriage sites. Therefore, we studied the effectiveness of mupirocin nasal ointment treatment on the dynamics of S. aureus nasal and extranasal carriage. Twenty noncarriers, 26 intermittent carriers, and 16 persistent carriers had nasal, throat, and perineum samples taken 1 day before and 5 weeks after mupirocin treatment (twice daily for 5 days) and assessed for growth of S. aureus. The identities of cultured strains were assessed by restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the coagulase and protein A genes. The overall carriage rate (either nasal, pharyngeal, or perineal carrier or a combination) was significantly reduced after mupirocin treatment from 30 to 17 carriers (P = 0.003). Of the 17 carriers, 10 (60%) were still colonized with their old strain, 6 (35%) were colonized with an exogenous strain, and 1 (5%) was colonized with both. Two noncarriers became carriers after treatment. The acquisition of exogenous strains after mupirocin treatment is a common phenomenon. The finding warrants the use of mupirocin only in proven carriers for decolonization purposes. Mupirocin is effective overall in decolonizing nasal carriers but less effective in decolonizing extranasal sites.
The objective was to
investigate the importance of genetic
and environmental factors for
infrequent episodic, frequent
episodic and chronic tension-type
headache. Twin pairs recruited from
the population-based Danish Twin
Registry received a posted questionnaire.
Only twin pairs where
both twins replied were included. A
total of 3523 monozygotic (MZ),
4150 dizygotic (DZ) same-gender
and 3526 DZ opposite-gender twin
pairs were included. The prevalence
of frequent episodic and chronic
tension-type headache was significantly
more frequent in women
than men, and significantly higher
in those with co-occurrence of
migraine. The concordance rates
were significantly higher in MZ
than same-gender DZ twin pairs
with no or frequent episodic tension-type headache, while the difference
was not significant in
chronic tension-type headache. The
concordance rates of infrequent
episodic tension-type headache in
MZ and same-gender DZ twin pairs
was significantly different in
women but not in men, although
the difference was small in both
genders. We conclude that genetic
factors play a role in no and frequent
headache, while infrequent episodic
tension-type headache is caused
primarily by environmental factors.
The data regarding chronic tensiontype
headache were limited, so no
firm conclusion could be drawn.
Tension-type headache; Genetics; Twins; Ineritance
Compared to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), characteristics of nasal carriage and community-onset infection methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) are less well known. No characteristics of MSSA in Taiwan have been reported previously.
We analyzed 100 nasal carriage and 34 community-onset infection MSSA isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), spa typing, multi-locus sequence typing, agr typing, virulence gene detection, growth rate measurement, and antimicrobial susceptibility.
In PFGE analysis, most (68%) infection isolates could be grouped in one major cluster using a 70% similarity cutoff. In contrast, only 17% of nasal carriage isolates belonged to this cluster. A similar classification was obtained using Based Upon Repeat Pattern analysis of spa types. The MSSA infection isolates cluster was closely related to the virulent clones of clonal complex 1 (CC1), which includes strains MW2 (USA400) and MSSA476. ST188 of CC1 was the predominant clone detected for community-onset MSSA infections. The only common ST type for MSSA and MRSA in Taiwan was ST59, the community-associated MRSA clone. It is likely, therefore, that MRSA originated from MSSA clones through SCCmec transfer. Compared to nasal carriage isolates, infection isolates less frequently possessed egc, tst and hlg genes, were more commonly susceptible to erythromycin (91% vs. 54%), and had shorter mean doubling times (38 min vs. 55 min).
The clonal lineages of MSSA nasal carriage and infection isolates differed in our sample of Taiwan isolates. Most community-onset MSSA infections resulted from relatively few clonal lineages. Nasal carriage isolates more frequently possessed the egc, tst and hlg genes, were more resistant to erythromycin, and grew more slowly.
Nasal carriage; Community onset; Infection; MSSA; Staphylococcus aureus; Lineage; Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; Multi-locus sequence typing; Spa typing
To determine whether genetic factors partly explain variation in risk of osteoporotic fracture, the true end point of the osteoporosis problem.
Prospective 25 year follow up of a nationwide cohort of elderly Finnish twins.
The Finnish twin cohort and the national hospital discharge register, covering the entire 5 million population of Finland.
All same sex twin pairs born before 1946. The cohort contained 2308 monozygotic and 5241 dizygotic twin pairs (15 098 people) at the beginning of follow up.
outcome measure The number and concordance of osteoporotic fractures in the twin pairs, 1972-96.
786 cohort members sustained an osteoporotic fracture. In women, the pairwise concordance rate for fracture (that is, the relative number of twin pairs in whom the fracture affected both twins in a pair) was 9.5% (95% confidence interval 5.3% to 15.5%) in monozygotic pairs and 7.9% (5.2% to 11.4%) in dizygotic pairs. In men, the figures were 9.9% (4.4% to 18.5%) and 2.3% (0.6% to 5.7%).
Susceptibility to osteoporotic fractures in elderly Finns is not strongly influenced by genetic factors, especially in elderly women. The traditional strategy for prevention of osteoporotic fractures—that is, increasing peak bone mass and preventing age related bone loss—should be changed to include new elements such as prevention of falls and protection of the critical anatomical sites of the body when a fall occurs.
Key messagesGenetic factors have a substantial role in explaining age specific variation in bone mass and density, but no previous study has directly evaluated whether they have a role in the variation of risk of osteoporotic fracture, the true end point of the entire osteoporosis problemGenetic factors are not strongly related to likelihood of osteoporotic fracture, particularly in elderly womenFor this reason, the traditional prevention strategy of osteoporotic fractures—increasing peak bone mass and preventing age related bone loss—could include new additional elements, such as prevention of falls in elderly people and protection of the critical anatomical sites of the body when a fall occurs
Twenty-six nurses were repeatedly screened for carriage of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (EMRSA) immediately before and after duty periods in which they solely attended six patients widely colonized with two EMRSA strains distinguishable by plasmid analysis. EMRSA carriage was detected in 13 nurses. Three EMRSA carriage patterns emerged: transient carriage in 12 nurses, when the EMRSA was isolated from noses or fingers of nurses after duty but was gone before their next day's duty; short-term nasal carriage, seen on occasion in 4 of these 12 nurses, when EMRSA carriage was detected on two consecutive screens; and persistent nasal carriage, seen in 1 nurse only, when the EMRSA was seen on more than two consecutive occasions. All but one of these incidents of carriage could be explained by close patient, rather than environmental, exposure and occurred despite an intensive control programme. Transient or short-term carriage in nurses probably resulted in transfer of the EMRSA between patients. Staff decontamination should be considered following a period of cohort nursing of EMRSA patients, especially if staff members are shortly to nurse unaffected patients. Our findings may explain some of the difficulties in controlling EMRSA.
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the first pathogens which often persistently infect the airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Nasal S. aureus carriage is a risk factor for S. aureus infections in non-CF patients. Topical treatment strategies successfully eradicate nasal S. aureus carriage, thereby decreasing S. aureus infection. A prospective longitudinal multicenter study was conducted to assess whether nasal carriage represents a risk factor for S. aureus colonization of the oropharynx in young CF patients. Cross-sectional analysis revealed a significantly higher prevalence of S. aureus-positive nasal (28/80 [35%] versus 20/109 [18%]; P < 0.01) and oropharyngeal (35/80 [44%] versus 20/109 [18%]; P < 0.001) cultures in children with CF compared to a control group. The first site of S. aureus detection was the nose in 6 patients and the oropharynx in 14 patients, respectively. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated a significantly higher S. aureus prevalence (61/62 [98%] versus 47/62 [76%]; P < 0.001) and persistence (46/62 [74%] versus 31/62 [50%]; P < 0.01) in the oropharynx than in the nose. In CF patients, the oropharynx, and not the nose, was the predominant site of S. aureus infection and persistence. Hence, it is unlikely that CF patients will benefit from topical treatment strategies to eradicate nasal carriage.
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.
The anterior nares of humans are the major reservoir for Staphylococcus aureus colonization. Approximately 20% of the healthy human population is persistently and 80% is intermittently colonized with S. aureus in the nasal cavity. Previous studies have shown a strong causal connection between S. aureus nasal carriage and increased risk of nosocomial infection, as well as increased carriage due to immune dysfunction. However, the immune responses that permit persistence or mediate clearance of S. aureus on the nasal mucosa are fundamentally undefined. In this study, we developed a carriage model in C57BL/6J mice and showed that clearance begins 14 days postinoculation. In contrast, SCID mice that have a deficient adaptive immune response are unable to eliminate S. aureus even after 28 days postinoculation. Furthermore, decolonization was found to be T cell mediated but B cell independent by evaluating carriage clearance in T-cell receptor β/δ (TCR-β/δ) knockout (KO) and IgH-μ KO mice, respectively. Upregulation of the cytokines interleukin 1β (IL-1β), KC (also termed CXC ligand 1 [CXCL1]), and IL-17A occurred following inoculation with intranasal S. aureus. IL-17A production was crucial for clearance, since IL-17A-deficient mice were unable to effectively eliminate S. aureus carriage. Subsequently, cell differential counts were evaluated from nasal lavage fluid obtained from wild-type and IL-17A-deficient colonized mice. These counts displayed IL-17A-dependent neutrophil migration. Antibody-mediated depletion of neutrophils in colonized mice caused reduced clearance compared to that in isotype-treated controls. Our data suggest that the Th17-associated immune response is required for nasal decolonization. This response is T cell dependent and mediated via IL-17A production and neutrophil influx. Th17-associated immune responses may be targeted for strategies to mitigate distal infections originating from persistent S. aureus carriage in humans.
Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus has long been hypothesized to be a major vector for the transmission of virulent strains throughout the community. To address this hypothesis, we have analyzed the relatedness between a cohort of nasal carriage strains and clinical isolates to understand better the genetic conformity therein. To assess the relatedness between nasal carriage and clinical isolates of S. aureus, a genetic association study was conducted using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and typing of the hypervariable regions of clumping factor and fibronectin binding protein genes. At all loci analyzed, genetic associations between both nasal carriage and clinical isolates were observed. Computational analyses of MLST data indicate that nasal carriage and clinical isolates belong to the same genetic clusters (clades), despite differences in sequence type assignments. Genetic analyses of the hypervariable regions from the clumping factor and fibronectin binding protein genes revealed that not only do clinically relevant strains belong to identical genetic lineages as the nasal carriage isolates within our cohort, but they also exhibit 100% sequence similarity within these regions. The findings of this report indicate that strains of S. aureus being carried asymptomatically throughout the community via nasal colonization are genetically related to those responsible for high levels of morbidity and mortality.
Genetic differences have been proposed to play a strong role in risk of death from infectious diseases. The study base of 44,005 included all same-sex twin pairs born in 1870–2001, with both twins alive on January 1, 1943, or those born thereafter. Cause of death was obtained from the Danish Cause of Death Register and was available for 18,359 deaths. The authors classified death due to infections by 3 definitions (narrow, broader, and broadest) and calculated concordance rates for same-sex monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs. Heritability was estimated by using structural equation models. When the 3 definitions were applied, 211 (1.1%), 1,089 (5.9%), and 2,907 (15.8%) deaths, respectively, were due to infections. The probandwise concordance rates for monozygotic twin pairs were consistently higher than for dizygotic twin pairs regardless of the definition (9% vs. 0% (P = 0.04), 10% vs. 3% (P < 0.01), and 19% vs. 15% (P = 0.07), respectively). For the broader and broadest definitions, heritability was 40% (95% confidence interval: 12, 50) and 19% (95% confidence interval: 3, 35), respectively. The concordance rates were generally low, and, although a genetic influence on the risk of death from infectious diseases could be demonstrated, the absolute effect of the genetic component on mortality was small.
cause of death; genetics; infection; twins
Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of Staphylococcus aureus is well suited to the study of global or long-term epidemiology, but its role in local epidemiology has not been defined. The present study has compared MLST with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) by using S. aureus isolates associated with carriage and disease in a busy regional renal unit. One hundred forty-four patients were prospectively recruited, of whom 103 were receiving hemodialysis and 41 were on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Three nasal swab specimens were obtained 1 month apart on entering the study. A nasal swab was positive for S. aureus on at least one occasion in 50 patients (35%). Typing of the 104 carriage isolates demonstrated 21 PFGE types and 21 sequence types (STs). Thirty-one carriers had two or more positive nasal swabs; of these, the isolates in all swabs from a given carrier had identical PFGE types for 29 carriers; the isolates in all of the same 29 swabs had identical STs. The carriage strain in two patients changed both PFGE type and STs during the period of swabbing. Eight patients (6%) had an episode of S. aureus bacteremia during the 12-month study period, and two of these were nasal carriers. One of these invasive isolates had the same PFGE type and ST as the carriage isolate. There were no differences between Simpson's index of diversity for PFGE and Simpson's index of diversity for MLST for both invasive and carriage isolates, suggesting that the two methods have very similar discriminatory abilities. We conclude that PFGE and MLST performed equally in this study.