Staph bacteria linger deep in our noses | Science News



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Staph bacteria linger deep in our noses

Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes staph infections, can linger deep inside crevices of the human nose without doing harm. Mutated strains become more dangerous when in the blood stream or near scratches or wounds to the skin.

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Humans' noses may have hidden crevices where the bacteria that cause staph infections like to hang out.

Scientists knew that the nose was a primary reservoir of Staphylococcus aureus. But a deeper look within the nasal cavity revealed previously unidentified spots that harbored the potentially dangerous bacteria. The discovery could explain why some people only get rid of staph microbes for a short amount of time when treated, researchers report December 11 in Cell Host & Microbe.

The team also found that when more of the bacteria Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum was present in the nose, there were fewer S. aureus microbes. C. pseudodiphtheriticum may make a molecule that blocks the growth of S. aureus and, if identified, could lead to the development of a new drug to treat or prevent staph infections.

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