Reduction of nasal Staphylococcus aureus carriage in health care professionals by treatment with a nonantibiotic, alcohol-based nasal antiseptic

Lisa L. Steed, Justin Costello, Shivangi Lohia, Taylor Jones, Ernst W Spannhake, Shaun Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Antibiotics used to reduce nasal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus in patients before admission are inappropriate for carriage reduction on a regular basis within a hospital community. Effective nonantibiotic alternatives for daily use in the nares will allow reduction of this bacterial source to be addressed. Methods Our study tested the effectiveness of a nonantibiotic, alcohol-based antiseptic in reducing nasal bacterial carriage in health care professionals (HCPs) at an urban hospital center. HCPs testing positive for vestibular S aureus colonization were treated 3 times during the day with topical antiseptic or control preparations. Nasal S aureus and total bacterial colonization levels were determined before and at the end of a 10-hour workday. Results Seventy-eight of 387 HCPs screened (20.2%) tested positive for S aureus infection. Of 39 subjects who tested positive for S aureus infection who completed the study, 20 received antiseptic and 19 received placebo treatment. Antiseptic treatment reduced S aureus colony forming units from baseline by 99% (median) and 82% (mean) (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-846
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Bacterial burden
  • Ethanol
  • Infection control
  • Nasal colonization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Medicine(all)

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