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Nasal carriage of Staphylococcus aureus in house dust mite allergic patients and healthy controls

Author(s): Riechelmann H, Essig A, Deutschle T


Background: Staphylococcal colonization may influence the course of allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis. The frequency of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) nasal carriage and its possible influence on persistent allergic rhinitis was investigated.

Methods: In nasal lavages from 22 patients with house dust mite allergy and 18 healthy controls, the number of SA colony forming units per ml were assessed and related to nasal symptom scores, the concentrations of three inflammatory cell activation markers, nasal total IgE and 17 cytokines in nasal secretions.

Results: SA was found in 15/22 allergic patients and 4/18 controls (P < 0.01). Comparing allergic SA carriers with allergic noncarriers, nasal symptom scores tended to be higher (P < 0.1), and the cell activation markers ECP (102.23±0.33vs 101.45±0.50 ng/ml; P < 0.05) and elastase (102.70±0.21vs 102.12±0.34 ng/ml; P < 0.01), and nasal total IgE-levels (101.66±0.38vs 101.2±0.28 kU/ml; P < 0.05) were significantly higher in allergic SA carriers. Nasal SA carriers had a higher nasal IL-13/IFN-γ ratio (P < 0.01), and this was correlated with higher nasal total IgE in allergic patients (r = 0.6, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Nasal SA carriage is frequent in patients with persistent allergic rhinitis. The data of this study suggest that they are not only secondary bystanders, but actively modulate the disease by promoting local IgE production.

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