Monday, 20 January 2014

Staphylococcus aureus lingers deep in our noses

Humans' noses may have hidden crevices where the bacteria that cause staph infections can be found in high numbers. Scientists have known for decades that the nose was a primary reservoir of Staphylococcus aureus. However, a deeper look within the nasal cavity revealed previously unidentified spots that harbored the potentially dangerous bacteria. The discovery could explain why some people only get rid of Staphylococci bacteria for a short amount of time when treated, researchers report in Cell Host & Microbe ("Nasal Microenvironments and Interspecific Interactions Influence Nasal Microbiota Complexity and S. aureus Carriage").

The team also found that when more of the bacteria Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum was present in the nose, there were fewer S. aureus microbes. C. pseudodiphtheriticum may make a molecule that blocks the growth of S. aureus and, if identified, could lead to the development of a new drug to treat or prevent staph infections.

The points of the research are:
  • Phylogenetic composition of nasal communities differed by site epithelium type
  • Bacterial diversity was greater at the mucosal sites than at naris
  • Abundance of two Corynebacterium species correlated with S. aureus carriage status
  • These Corynebacterium species and S. aureus interact at mucosal habitats and in vitro
Posted by Tim Sandle