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The Role of a Chronic Carrier in an Epidemic of Staphylococcal Disease in a Newborn Nursery

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(5):461-468. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050465001.
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Staphylococcal disease is now recognized as a serious and widespread cause of morbidity and mortality in newborn infants and their mothers. The epidemiological studies made possible by bacteriophage typing of this group of micro-organisms have demonstrated that the agent is usually acquired by the infant in the hospital environment, from nursing personnel, from other infants, or possibly from various fomites1-7 and that the carrier state may persist long after the infant's discharge from the nursery.8 Virulance as well as ability to produce a nasal carrier state vary greatly with different bacteriophage types of Staphylococcus pyogenes,9 the most virulant strain reported to date being lysed by phages 42B/47C/44A/52/80/81.8 Control of epidemics has not been entirely satisfactory; the usual hygienic measures frequently fail to stop the spread of infection,10 and hexachlorophene bathing or erythromycin treatment1, 11,12 has been found necessary to arrest certain outbreaks.



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