Correlation between Nasal Microbiome Composition and Remote Purulent Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Article (Web of Science)


  • The incidence of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) has increased dramatically over the past decade, resulting in significant morbidity in millions of otherwise healthy individuals worldwide. Certain groups, like military personnel, are at increased risk for SSTI development. Although nasal colonization withStaphylococcus aureusis an important risk factor for the development of SSTIs, it is not clear why some colonized individuals develop disease while others do not. Recent studies have revealed the importance of microbial diversity in human health. Therefore, we hypothesized that the nasal microbiome may provide valuable insight into SSTI development. To examine this hypothesis, we obtained anterior-naris samples from military trainees with cutaneous abscesses and from asymptomatic (non-SSTI) participants. We also obtained samples from within abscess cavities. Specimens were analyzed by culture, and the microbial community within each sample was characterized using a 16S sequencing-based approach. We collected specimens from 46 non-SSTI participants and from 40 participants with abscesses. We observed a significantly higher abundance ofProteobacteriain the anterior nares in non-SSTI participants (P< 0.0001) than in participants with abscesses. Additionally, we noted a significant inverse correlation betweenCorynebacteriumspp. andS. aureus(P= 0.0001). The sensitivity of standard microbiological culture for abscesses was 71.4%. These data expand our knowledge of the complexity of the nasal and abscess microbiomes and potentially pave the way for novel therapeutic and prophylactic countermeasures against SSTI.


  • Johnson, Ryan C.
  • Ellis, Michael
  • Lanier, Jeffrey B.
  • Schlett, Carey D.
  • Cui, Tianyuan
  • Merrell, D. Scott

publication date

  • 2015

published in

number of pages

  • 9

start page

  • 802

end page

  • 811


  • 83


  • 2