3 years ago

Staphylococcus aureus colonization during military service: a prospective cohort study

Staphylococcus aureus colonization leading to skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) are known challenges in crowded settings such as the military. The aim of the study was to a) establish and compare the prevalence of S. aureus colonization in recruits at enrolment and discharge after the first year of military service and b) investigate the prevalence of S. aureus SSTI. Methods All recruits entering first year of military service in January 2013 to be stationed at three garrisons in the northern part of Norway were invited to join this prospective cohort study. Swabs were taken from nose, throat and perineum. S. aureus was identified using standard culturing methods. Methicillin resistance was determined by cefoxitin disk diffusion test. Results Of the 923 eligible recruits, 512 were included at enrolment. 265/512 (52%) were also screened at discharge. S. aureus colonization was high, and increased significantly during military service (166/265 versus 224/265, p<0.001) mainly caused by increase in throat colonization alone or in combination with nasal colonization. All S. aureus isolates were susceptible to methicillin. SSTI was self-reported in 7/265 (3%) recruits of which only one was confirmed by a military physician. Conclusion S. aureus colonization increased during military service, but there were few confirmed reports on SSTIs. Inclusion of throat swab provides important information as ∼20% of the recruits were only positive in their throat. Further analyses need to be performed to investigate if the increase in colonization is caused by specific S. aureus stains.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1198743X17305748

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