Our human model of nasal colonization and eradication of S. aureus is limited by safety issues. As rhesus macaques are closely related to humans and natural hosts for S. aureus, we developed an experimental decolonization and inoculation protocol in these animals. Animals were screened for nasal carriage of S. aureus and 20 carriers were selected. Decolonization was attempted using nasal mupirocin (10 animals) or mupirocin plus trimethoprim/ sulfadiazine intramuscularly (10 animals) both once daily for 5 days, and checked by followup cultures for 10 weeks. Intranasal inoculation was performed with S. aureus strain 8325–4 in culture-negative animals. 11/20 animals, of which 5 received mupirocin and 6 the combination treatment, became culture-negative for S. aureus for 10 weeks and these 11 animals were subsequently inoculated. Swabs were taken once a week for 5 weeks to test for the presence of the inoculated strain. In 3 animals, strain 8325–4 was cultured from the nose 1 week after inoculation, indicating short-term survival of this strain only, a finding similar to that previously found in our human model. These data demonstrate that rhesus macaques may constitute a relevant animal model to perform S. aureus eradication and inoculation studies with relatively limited invasive handling of the animals.

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194718, hdl.handle.net/1765/105863
Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Slingerland, B., Keehnen, M. (Merei), Ouwerling, B., Tavakol, M., Snijders, S., Verbrugh, H., … van Wamel, W. (2018). An experimental Staphylococcus aureus carriage and decolonization model in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). PLoS ONE, 13(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0194718