We studied the carriage rate of Staphylococcus aureus in patients receiving long-term hemodialysis and also noted the incidence of shunt infections, bacteremia, and septicemia in colonized patients. Thirty-one of 50 patients (62%) carried S aureus in the nose, throat, or on the skin, of whom 20 patients developed shunt infections; nine infections resulted in episodes of bacteremia. Patients with chronic renal failure not undergoing hemodialysis had a 21% carriage rate. Thus, there is a high carriage rate of S aureus in asymptomatic patients receiving hemodialysis that is probably related to an increased incidence of shunt infections and bacteremia.
(Arch Intern Med 138:1657-1659, 1978)