Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage (SANC) is largely asymptomatic, but presents a risk of autoinfection and dissemination to new immunocompromised hosts. SA disease states range from mild cutaneous infections to life-threatening bacteremia. Historically utilized rodent models do not naturally carry SA in the nose, are insufficient in longitudinal SANC experimentation, and lack immune factors that are vital in human clearance of SA. The nasal passages of non-human primates are similar anatomically and histologically, and reproductive mucosal studies have shown similar immune responses to pathogens and human-relevant microbial profiles. Seventeen captive pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were found to naturally carry SA in the nose and pharynx, while topical mupirocin ointment effectively decolonized SA, similar to humans. Colonization was established with a human-relevant inoculum of 104 SA CFUs per nostril in four independent experiments, including with a human isolate (ST398). Autologous and non-autologous macaque strains were carried similarly in load and duration, each surviving over 40 days. Animals that cleared SA showed a rapid neutrophilic innate response, with up-regulation of IL-8, MCP-1, and IL-1β following inoculation, as observed in human hosts. Assessment of the nasal microbiome of pigtailed macaques and humans demonstrated similar relative abundance of the most prevalent genera: Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Acinetobacter. Collectively, these multidimensional analyses provide evidence that the pigtailed macaque is a novel physiological model of human SANC that may be useful for testing novel SA decolonization strategies.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Medicine
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lasseter, Amanda, "Development of a Non-Human Primate Model for Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Carriage" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5948.