Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

<jats:sec id="S0899823X00196126_abs1"><jats:title>Objective.</jats:title><jats:p>Nasal carriage of<jats:italic>Staphylococcus aureus</jats:italic>is an important risk factor for<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>infection and a reservoir for methicillin-resistant<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>. We investigated whether nose picking was among the determinants of<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>nasal carriage.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec id="S0899823X00196126_abs2"><jats:title>Setting and Participants.</jats:title><jats:p>The study cohort comprised 238 patients who visited the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) disease outpatient clinic of a tertiary care hospital and did not have a nose-specific complaint (defined as ENT patients) and 86 healthy hospital employees (including medical students and laboratory personnel).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec id="S0899823X00196126_abs3"><jats:title>Measurements.</jats:title><jats:p>All participants completed a questionnaire on behavior regarding the nose and were screened for<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>nasal carriage; only ENT patients underwent nasal examination by an ear, nose, and throat physician for clinical signs of nose picking.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec id="S0899823X00196126_abs4"><jats:title>Results.</jats:title><jats:p>Among ENT patients, nose pickers were significantly more likely than non–nose pickers to carry<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>(37 [53.6%] of 69 vs 60 [35.5%] of 169 patients; relative risk, 1.51 [95% confidence interval, 1.03-2.19]). Among healthy volunteers, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between the self-perceived frequency of nose picking and both the frequency of positive culture results (<jats:italic>R</jats:italic>= 0.31;<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>= .004) and the load of<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>present in the nose (<jats:italic>R</jats:italic>= 0.32;<jats:italic>P</jats:italic>= .003).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec id="S0899823X00196126_abs5"><jats:title>Conclusion.</jats:title><jats:p>Nose picking is associated with<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>nasal carriage. The role of nose picking in nasal carriage may well be causal in certain cases. Overcoming the habit of nose picking may aid<jats:italic>S. aureus</jats:italic>decolonization strategies.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Original publication

DOI

10.1086/506401

Type

Journal

Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Publication Date

08/2006

Volume

27

Pages

863 - 867