[Skip to Navigation]
May 1958

The Role of a Chronic Carrier in an Epidemic of Staphylococcal Disease in a Newborn Nursery

Author Affiliations

Dallas, Texas
Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School. Senior Investigator, Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation. Most of this work was performed while the author was a member of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(5):461-468. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050465001

Staphylococcal disease is now recognized as a serious and widespread cause of morbidity and mortality in newborn infants and their mothers. The epidemiological studies made possible by bacteriophage typing of this group of micro-organisms have demonstrated that the agent is usually acquired by the infant in the hospital environment, from nursing personnel, from other infants, or possibly from various fomites1-7 and that the carrier state may persist long after the infant's discharge from the nursery.8 Virulance as well as ability to produce a nasal carrier state vary greatly with different bacteriophage types of Staphylococcus pyogenes,9 the most virulant strain reported to date being lysed by phages 42B/47C/44A/52/80/81.8 Control of epidemics has not been entirely satisfactory; the usual hygienic measures frequently fail to stop the spread of infection,10 and hexachlorophene bathing or erythromycin treatment1, 11,12 has been found necessary to arrest certain outbreaks.


Add or change institution