Increased prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in rheumatoid arthritis patients with moderate/high disease activity

Published:October 07, 2022DOI:



      Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) nasal carriage is a well-known risk factor for surgical site infection (SSI) after total joint arthroplasty. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of S. aureus nasal carriage between patients with osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease, and those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease, who underwent total joint arthroplasty, and to investigate the influence of RA disease activity on nasal carriage rate.


      This retrospective study targeted 508 OA and 107 RA patients who underwent S. aureus nasal screening prior to primary total knee and/or hip arthroplasty. RA patients were divided into two groups based on disease activity: the remission/low disease activity (REM/LDA) group and the moderate/high disease activity (MDA/HDA) group. Factors associated with S. aureus nasal carriage were assessed with multivariate logistic regression models.


      Of all 615 patients, 155 (25%) carried S. aureus in their nares. Compared to OA patients, RA patients had a significantly higher rate of S. aureus nasal carriage (24% vs. 33%, p = 0.049). Compared to the REM/LDA group (n = 39), the MDA/HDA group (n = 58) had a significantly higher rate of S. aureus nasal carriage (21% vs. 41%, p = 0.032). Multivariate analysis revealed that the MDA/HDA group, but not the REM/LDA group, had a significantly higher odds of S. aureus nasal carriage compared to the OA group (odds ratio: 2.76, 95% confidence interval: 1.07–7.12).


      Preoperative nasal screening for S. aureus is beneficial, especially in RA patients with moderate/high disease activity.


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