Localization of Staphylococcus aureus in tissue from the nasal vestibule in healthy carriers
AuthorHanssen, Anne-Merethe; Kindlund, Bert; Stenklev, Niels Christian; Furberg, Anne-Sofie; Fismen, Silje; Olsen, Renate Slind; Johannessen, Mona; Sollid, Johanna U Ericson
Background: Colonization of the body is an important step in Staphylococcus aureus infection. S. aureus colonizes skin and mucous membranes in humans and several animal species. One important ecological niche of S. aureus is the anterior nares. More than 60% of the S. aureus in the nose are found in vestibulum nasi. Our aim was to describe the localization of S. aureus in nasal tissue from healthy carriers.
Methods: Punch skin biopsies were taken from vestibulum nasi from healthy volunteers (S. aureus carriers and non−/intermittent carriers, n = 39) attending the population-based Tromsø 6 study. The tissue samples were processed as frozen sections before immunostaining with a specific S. aureus antibody, and finally evaluated by a confocal laser-scanning microscope.
Results: Our results suggest that S. aureus colonize both the upper and lower layers of the epidermis within the nasal epithelium of healthy individuals. The number of S. aureus in epidermis was surprisingly low. Intracellular localization of S. aureus in nasal tissue from healthy individuals was also detected.
Conclusions: Knowledge of the exact localization of S. aureus in nasal tissue is important for the understanding of the host responses against S. aureus. Our results may have consequences for the eradication strategy of S. aureus in carriers, and further work can provide us with tools for targeted prevention of S. aureus colonisation and infection.