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Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) is a bacterium that can cause a spectrum of infections, yet can also be found living harmlessly in the noses of around 1/3 of healthy people. In collaboration with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project, we are exploring how S. aureus is acquired and lost. Over 500 people who were recruited when they attended primary care have been swabbing their noses every 2 months for the past 2 years. Around 200 people are continuing to do this for a further 2 years. New molecular techniques can distinguish between the different strains of S. aureus, which allow us to identify when a person acquires a new strain and also understand whether the strains behave differently.

For more information contact Kyle Knox or David Mant.