This chapter focuses on Staphylococcus aureus (SA) infections in athletes. Previous SA infection studies performed starting in the 1980s examined close physical contact athletes, with a focus primarily on injured skin. However, more recent studies of skin SA transmission in athletes were conducted using molecular epidemiology. When participants in sports having a greater duration of competition were examined, results indicated that there was prolonged contact between athletes on the same team and athletes from other teams. These findings demonstrate that effective measures for preventing SA infections are urgently needed. Factors that can affect skin SA infections include high rates of SA nasal colonization, the type of “position on a team,” repeated skin-to-skin contact, and perspiration that occurs during exercise in SA nasal carriers. Thus, it should be possible to utilize molecular typing methods to assess skin-to-skin contact in athletes. This study summarizes the current understanding of SA infections in athletes. In order to develop preventive strategies, it will be necessary to further elucidate the predisposing factors and mechanisms behind SA infections and the subsequent transmission in athletes.
Part of the book: Frontiers in Staphylococcus aureus