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May 1968

Bacterial Interference: Protection Against Recurrent Intrafamilial Staphylococcal Disease

Author Affiliations

Manhasset, NY; San Francisco; Manhasset, NY
From the Stanley J. Lagin Pediatric Research Laboratory, North Shore Hospital, Manhasset, NY (Dr. Boris, Pepi Romano, Doreen McCarthy); New York Hospital and Cornell Medical Center, New York (Dr. Florman); and Kaiser Foundation Hospital, San Francisco (Dr. Shinefield).

Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(5):521-529. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010523001

IT HAS been shown that colonization by one strain of Staphylococcus aureus of the nasal mucosa of adults1-4 and the nasal mucosa and umbilicus of infants5-11 interferes with subsequent colonization at those sites by other strains of coagulase positive staphylococcus. This phenomenon, called bacterial interference, has been successfully utilized to curtail epidemics of S aureus in newborn nurseries.

A similar protective effect has been demonstrated in adults. In two separate controlled studies, carriers of S aureus who were deliberately colonized following local nasal and systemic antibiotic therapy were protected from recolonization when directly challenged by a second strain of S aureus.1,2 Cessation of recurrent bouts of furunculosis following recolonization was reported recently in one individual3 and in one family.4

The present study demonstrates that artificial colonization with the 502A strain not only protects families against recolonization by the original resident strain of S aureus but

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