Clinical evaluation of early acquisition of Staphylococcus aureus carriage by newborns

Ayala Maayan-Metzger*, Tzipora Strauss, Carmit Rubin, Hanaa Jaber, Mordechai Dulitzky, Aylana Reiss-Mandel, Eyal Leshem, Galia Rahav, Gili Regev-Yochay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background Little is known about neonatal Staphylococcus aureus carriage. Sites and clinical outcomes of S. aureus colonization during the first month of life were evaluated in this study. Methods A cohort of 279 infants born at term to 277 mothers was included. Maternal S. aureus colonization status was examined before labor. Newborns were screened for nasal, auricular, umbilical, and rectal colonization, one to three times within 100 h after birth, and infants of carrier mothers were re-screened at 1 month. Medical data were recorded from the medical charts at discharge and at the 1-month follow-up interview. Results Overall 43 out of 279 (15.4%) infants acquired S. aureus within the first days of life. The only two predictors of S. aureus carriage in the postnatal period were maternal S. aureus carriage (odds ratio 7.905, 95% confidence interval 3.182–19.638) and maternal antibiotic treatment during labor (odds ratio 0.121, 95% confidence interval 0.016–0.949). Among colonized children, the nose (56%) and rectum (40%) were more frequently colonized, while ear (26%) and umbilicus (16%) colonization were less common. Co-colonization at two sites was rare (4%), but always predicted carriage at 1 month of age. Maternal and neonatal characteristics, including neonatal outcomes, were similar between S. aureus carrier and non-carrier infants during the first month of life. Conclusions Maternal carriage is the major predictor of neonatal S. aureus carriage. The nose and rectum are the main sites of neonatal carriage. S. aureus carriage was not associated with neonatal complications throughout the first month of life. The long-term significance of early S. aureus carriage is yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Nov 2017


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Health , Israel3-00000-5622
Morasha Israeli Science Foundation
Chief Scientist Office
Israel Science Foundation1590/09


    • Colonization
    • Neonatal outcome
    • Staphylococcus aureus


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