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November 1964

Dissemination of Staphylococci

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(5):651-656. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860110121013

Nasal staphylococci constitute one of the major reservoirs of staphylococci in the hospital.1-3 Certain nasal carriers disseminate organisms into the environment frequently and in large numbers. These individuals have been termed "disseminators," "dangerous carriers," or "cloud babies" by various authors.4-6

Previous studies 1,7 have shown that nasal carriers of large numbers of coagulase-positive staphylococci disseminated staphylococci into the environment more frequently than carriers of smaller numbers.

The present studies were designed to test if dissemination of nasal staphylococci from carriers of similar numbers of these organisms was dependent on the type of staphylococci carried or upon factors in the host.

Materials and Methods  Two separate groups of patients were studied. Patients with overt staphylococcal infections or patients treated with other antibiotics were excluded from either study. Carriers were defined as patients with at least two of three consecutive quantitative nasal cultures containing coagulase-positive staphylococci.Carriers were treated with either