Manipulating the microbiome: evolution of a strategy to prevent S. aureus disease in children

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Hospitalized infants have the highest rates of invasive Staphylococcus aureus disease of any population and infection control strategies such as decolonization have been insufficient. For decades, researchers began studying the microbiome in search of new prevention strategies. The resident microbiota was found to be closely associated with susceptibility and at times, resistance to S. aureus colonization. The evolution of nucleic acid based techniques has enhanced our understanding of the complex relationship between the nasal microbiota and S. aureus colonization. We review what is known about bacterial communities in the nasal cavity of infants and discuss how future microbiome studies may help identify novel interventions to protect high-risk infants from S. aureus disease.

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