Nasal colonization by coagulase-positive staphylococci in a closed community in Antarctica
After a discussion of the historical background and classification of the coagulase-positive staphylococcus, a critical review of the importance of nasal colonization in the pathogenesis of staphylococcal infection and its relevance today is followed by an account of work already reported during the few occasions when several men have been totally isolated in closed environments such as submarines, space craft analogues and space craft themselves. The work is divided into two parts. Firstly in the Adelaide Island study an intensive investigation of the anterior nares of the base members has been carried out. This is set against a background study of their physical and bacteriological environments, which involved the examination of the air and fomites and the swabbing of dogs and penguins. A systematic study of staphylococcal sepsis is also carried out. The physical environment of a 'typical' base member's nasal vestibule has been examined and the effect upon it of Antarctic climatic factors evaluated. The influence of nasal carriage of non-coagulase-positive organisms on that of Staph. pyoqenes has been studied. The interrelationships of the above factors, and the effect on the staphylococcal bacterial population of men living together, are discussed. The second part of the work involved the supplementary investigations of nasal carriage at Halley Bay and Argentine Islands base, at which many transfers of Staph. pyoqenes have been shown to have occurred thus confirming the findings of the Adelaide Island study.