Open Access

Molecular Diversity of Staphylococcus aureus Colonizing the Upper Respiratory Tract of Residents and Staff in A Nursing Home


Elderly people living in nursing homes are a high-risk population for Staphylococcus aureus infection. Multiple comorbidities, a weakened immune system, inadequate hygienic conditions, and crowding might increase the prevalence rates of this opportunistic pathogen. However, the epidemiological aspects, genetic diversity, and transmission of S. aureus in nursing homes are still poorly understood, especially in Poland. This study aimed to determine the genetic relatedness and prevalence of colonization of S. aureus isolated from the anterior nares and the throat of residents and staff in a nursing home located in Lublin, Poland. The study showed a high S. aureus prevalence rate among participants (46.1%), yet there was a low frequency of MRSA strains among residents (1.7%) and staff (0%). The multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat fingerprinting (MLVF) analysis demonstrated a high degree of genetic diversity of S. aureus strains colonizing the anterior nares and the throat of the participants. The occurrence of simultaneous colonization with more than one unique S. aureus strain in any one individual as well as the incidence of colonization with the same genetic variant of S. aureus in different individuals was observed. These findings suggest that inter-participant S. aureus transmission might contribute to the development of cross-infections.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology