European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

, Volume 11, Issue 11, pp 985-989

First online:

Association betweenStaphylococcus aureus nasopharyngeal colonization and septicemia in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus

  • T. WeinkeAffiliated withII. Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Rudolf Virchow/Wedding, Freie UniversitätMedizinische Klinik, Klinikum Steglitz, Freie Universität Berlin
  • , R. SchillerAffiliated withAbteilung fur Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Robert-Koch-Institut
  • , F. J. FehrenbachAffiliated withAbteilung fur Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Robert-Koch-Institut
  • , H. D. PohleAffiliated withII. Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Rudolf Virchow/Wedding, Freie Universität

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


In an attempt to identify risk factors forStaphylococcus aureus septicemia, 136 consecutive HIV-infected patients were investigated for the presence of nasopharyngeal colonization withStaphylococcus aureus and subsequentStaphylococcus aureus infection. Sixty of 136 (44.1 %) HIV-infected patients had staphylococci which were detected in the nasopharynx on initial culture compared to 12 of 39 (30.8 %) patients with chronic diseases and 11 of 47 (23.4 %) healthy hospital staff. Another 12 HIV-infected subjects proved to beStaphylococcus aureus carriers on follow-up cultures. Patients with full-blown AIDS had a higher carriage rate compared to subjects who were only HIV-positive (p<0.05), indicating thatStaphylococcus aureus colonized patients were more severely ill. Eight patients withStaphylococcus aureus septicemia were observed, all of whom were carriers; no septicemia occurred in the non-colonized patients (p<0.01). Colonized patients with neutropenia (< 1000/µl) were significantly more likely to develop septicemia (p<0.01). Nasopharyngeal colonization withStaphylococcus aureus and the presence of an indwelling catheter were established to be factors that help identify patients at risk of acquiring subsequentStaphylococcus aureus infection.