The nasal carrier status of 3,736 patients was determined throughout their stay in hospital. The carrier rate on admission, which was highest in patients under 20 years of age, did not appear to vary with season.
The carriage of strains resistant to penicillin increased with the patients' stay in hospital from 13·% on admission to 20·5% on discharge, and the acquisition of these strains was enhanced by the administration of antibiotics.
Patients discharged from hospital carrying strains of staphylococci acquired in hospital lost them more readily than patients discharged carrying the strain which they had carried on admission, 31% of those discharged carrying strains resistant to penicillin and tetracycline being readmitted carrying these strains compared with 69% of those discharged carrying strains sensitive to these antibiotics.
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