People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH) have been disproportionally affected by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization and infection, in particular by clones USA300 and USA500. However, the contribution of epidemiological, bacterial, and immunological risk factors to the excess of S aureus in PLWH remain incompletely understood.Methods.
In this cross-sectional study, we determined the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of S aureus colonization in 93 PLWH attending an urban human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinic. Participants completed a structured interview assessing demographic information and risk factors for MRSA. Swabs were obtained from the nose, throat, and groin and cultured for S aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.Results.
Most participants had well controlled HIV infection (89, 96% CD4 >200). Thirty-six (39%) individuals were colonized with S aureus at 1 or more body sites, including 6 (6%) with MRSA. Regular gym use was a risk factor for S aureus but not MRSA carriage. In contrast, S epidermidis was present in almost all individuals (n = 84, 90%), predominantly in the nares (n = 66, 71%). Using generalized estimating equation models, we observed that the odds of S aureus colonization were significantly and drastically reduced when S epidermidis was detected (P = .0001). After controlling for site, gender, and age, we identified that the odds of S aureus colonization were 80% less if S epidermidis was present (adjusted odds ratio, 0.20; 95% confidence interval, .09–.45; P < .0001).Conclusions.
Taken together, we observed a lower prevalence of S aureus and MRSA colonization than has been previously reported in PLWH. In this cohort, colonization with S epidermidis was protective against S aureus colonization.