Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonization among high-risk HIV populations

Nina Shiang, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Staphylococcus aureus is a common microorganism in humans, typically colonizing the nasopharynx, skin and other mucosal surfaces. It is among the most frequent causes of clinically-significant bacterial infections accounting for increased morbidity and mortality among individuals with HIV/AIDS. Evidence of higher colonization rates among high-risk HIV populations have been observed however, prevalence estimates have varied. Additionally, behavioral, biological, and/or environmental factors that may account for these high colonization rates are not understood. Previous literature on clinic-based surveys were subject to considerable biases. Additionally, representative samples of high-risk HIV populations were difficult to obtain due in part to an underrepresentation of individuals who may not regularly obtain health care. The main objective of this project is to determine the prevalence of methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant (MRSA) nasal colonization in two populations: 1) men who have sex with men (MSM) and 2) injection drug users (IDU). Both of these populations are included in the third round of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) in Houston, Texas. In the NHBS-MSM3 study, logistic regression was used to report odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI). For the NHBS-IDU3 study, to account for the lack of independence between samples, the method of generalized estimating equations was utilized to report adjusted odds ratios and 95% CI. The NHBS-MSM3 study enrolled 202 participants with a MSSA colonization rate of 26.7% and MRSA rate of 3%. In the NHBS-IDU3 study, 18.4% were nasally colonized with MSSA and 5.7% were nasally colonized with MRSA. Among the NHBS-MSM3 population, high-risk sexual practices were associated with colonization. For the NHBS-IDU3 population, age, marital status, employment status, and the presence of scabs, were associated with colonization status when controlling for size of recruitment network. In multivariate GEE analyses, the use of antiretroviral medications and age remained significantly associated with S. aureus nasal colonization when controlling for size of recruitment network and gender. In both studies, a significantly higher than expected S. aureus and MRSA colonization rate was observed as compared to colonization rates described for the general population. However, these estimates were moderate in comparison to reported clinic-based MSM and IDU S. aureus colonization findings. This study validates substantial prevalence differences and biases that may exist with data collected from clinic-based MSM and IDU. The prevalence of MSSA and MRSA nasal colonization did not differ significantly with respect to HIV status among NHBS-MSM3/NHBS-IDU3 participants. Continued examination on the effects of S. aureus colonization and infection should be examined longitudinally to confirm additional community-based determinants in populations that are disproportionately affected.

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Recommended Citation

Shiang, Nina, "Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonization among high-risk HIV populations" (2013). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3565233.