Does Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage require eradication prior to elective ambulatory surgery in children?

Zvi Steiner, Orna Ben Natan, Igor Sukhotnik*, Arnold G. Coran, Gershon Keren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Rates of community-associated Staphylococcus aureus, and particularly of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in children, have increased in recent years. We investigated rates of nasal colonization of S. aureus, and a possible correlation between nasal carriage and wound infection. Methods: A prospective study of children scheduled for elective day-care surgical procedures between January 2008 and December 2012 at one medical center. Nasal swabs were taken before surgery, and follow-up was performed 1-2 weeks following surgery. Results: Of 1,127 children (median age 2 years, 70.6% males), positive nasal swabs were detected in 228 (20.2%). Rates of S. aureus nasal carriage were lowest for ages 6 months to 2 years and highest for ages 4-11 years. Child's sex did not associate with the risk for positive nasal swabs. Positive nasal swabs for MRSA were detected in five boys (0.62% of the population). Five children (0.44%) had wound infection. None of them was a nasal carrier. Conclusions: No correlation was observed between positive nasal swabs and wound infection in children who were candidates for elective ambulatory operations. This suggests that evaluation of S. aureus nasal carriage and eradication may not be necessary in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-525
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Community-associated infections
  • Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA)
  • Nasal colonization
  • Nasal swab
  • Surgical wound


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