Bacterial colonization in the oral cavity of humans is at a low level during the first day after birth and increases to the adult level on the third day.1.2 The reason for this lack of bacteria during early neonatal life has not been explained. The adherence capacity of groups A and B streptococci to buccal mucosal cells at birth (day 1) is minimal, but it rapidly increases to the adult level on day 3. Staphylococcus aureus varies in its ability to attach to nasal epithelial cells.3 Nasal S aureus carriers have greater affinity for S aureus than do noncarriers. The epithelial cells of the newborn may serve as a useful tool in further studies of the mechanisms involved in bacterial binding and colonization on mucosal surfaces in man. This colonization is usually requisite for subsequent clinical infection.
The present study investigates the adherence of S aureus to nasal