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Increased Pharyngeal Bacterial Colonization During Viral Illness

Carlos H. Ramírez-Ronda, MD; Zelma Fuxench-López, MD; Minerva Nevárez, BSMT
Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(12):1599-1603. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340130043013.
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• The oropharyngeal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative bacilli (GNB) and its duration were studied in 89 house staff officers, with biweekly quantitative cultures for 11 months. Eighty-two episodes of upper respiratory tract infection were documented during the study period. The oropharyngeal colonization during illness-free periods ranged from 12% to 18% for GNB and from 5% to 14% for S aureus. During an episode of upper respiratory tract infection, the oropharyngeal colonization of GNB increased to 60%; S aureus colonization increased to 43%. The colonization with both GNB and S aureus was transient and lasted for approximately two weeks. The increased colonization by S aureus and GNB during a viral respiratory tract infection may be a factor contributing to the increased risk of pneumonia in patients with this condition.

(Arch Intern Med 1981;141:1599-1603)


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