Nasal bacteria may help prevent spread of Staph, MRSA

The bacterial culprit behind Staph infections stealthily resides in the noses and mouths of most humans. A new study suggests that some of the other microscopic inhabitants of our nasal cavities may provide valuable defense in edging out their harmful neighbors, Staphylococcus auerus.

Following an analysis of 46 sets of identical twins and 43 sets of fraternal twins from one of the oldest twin registries in the world, researchers were able to conclude that there is no genetically inherent cause for the specific bacteria found in a person's nose. In fact, they said that a person's environment is the more important determining factor.

"This study is important because it suggests that the bacteria in the nose are not defined by our genes and that we may be able to introduce good bacteria to knock out bad bugs like Staph," Lance B. Price, PhD, director of TGen's Center for Microbiomics and Human Health and a professor of environmental and occupational health at the Milken Institute, said in a statement. "Using probiotics to promote gut health has become common in our culture. Now we're looking to use these same strategies to prevent the spread of superbugs."

The research could lead to interventions that could derail Staph's foothold in the nose, preventing both bacteria responsive to antibiotic treatment and resistant strains. The researchers also presented evidence that contradicts prior research that found men to be at a higher risk for Staph infection than women.

The study also found correlations between other types of bacteria and the disruption of Staph, including Corynebacterium, which is mostly harmless and commonly found on skin.

"We believe this study provides the early evidence that the introduction of probiotics could work to prevent or knock out Staph from the nose," said Cindy Liu, MD, a Pathology resident at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a TGen research affiliate and lead author of the paper said in a statement.

More articles about infection control:

MERS outbreak in South Korea: 9 things to know
Detergent wipes: The bad & the ugly
Routine infectious disease counseling should be standard for patients with SAB: 5 important findings 

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars