Persistent staphylococcus aureus colonization is not a strongly heritable trait in Amish families

Mary Claire Roghmann, J. Kristie Johnson, O. Colin Stine, Alison D. Lydecker, Kathleen A. Ryan, Braxton D. Mitchell, Alan R. Shuldiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

About 20% of adults are persistently colonized with S. aureus in the anterior nares. Host genetic factors could contribute susceptibility to this phenotype. The objective of this study was to determine whether the phenotype of persistent S. aureus colonization aggregates in family members who live in different households. Healthy adults and their eligible same sex siblings who lived in different households were recruited from the Old Order Amish of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All participants had two cultures of the anterior nares to determine if they were persistently colonized with S. aureus. Three hundred and ninety eight participants finished the study, of whom 166 were index cases and 232 were siblings of index cases. Eighteen per cent (71/398) of all participants and 17% (29/166) of index cases were persistently colonized with S. aureus. Twenty two per cent (8/36) of siblings of persistently colonized index cases were persistently colonized with S. aureus compared to 17% (34/196) of siblings of non-persistently colonized index cases, yielding a prevalence rate ratio of 1.28 (95% CI: 0.65-2.54, p = 0.64) and sibling relative risk of 1.25 (95% CI: 0.65-2.38, p = 0.51). The heritability of persistent colonization was 0.19±0.21 (p = 0.31). Persistent S. aureus colonization does not strongly aggregate in Amish family members in different households and heritability is low, suggesting that environmental factors or acquired host factors are more important than host genetic factors in determining persistent S. aureus colonization in this community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere17368
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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