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Title: Exposure to environmental chemical mixtures is associated with nasal colonization by Staphylococcus aureus: NHANES 2001-2004.

Authors: Eggers, Shoshannah; Gennings, Chris; Malecki, Kristen M C; Safdar, Nasia; Arora, Manish

Published In Environ Res, (2020 11)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding the health effects of exposure to chemical mixtures is critically important given the broad range of concurrent exposures throughout the life-course. While investigations of environmental chemicals and components of the human microbiome are becoming more common, few have examined associations with chemical mixtures. This study assesses the association between exposure to mixtures of 66 different environmental chemicals and nasal colonization of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and methicillin resistant SA (MRSA). METHODS: Data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2004. The analytical sample consists of 10,312 participants, age 6 years and older, subdivided into 8 groups with different chemical exposure mixtures. Within each of 6 chemical classes (metals, phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polyfluorochemicals (PFCs), and phenols), weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression was used to analyze the joint association of the component compounds and nasal SA colonization. WQS was also used to assess the joint association of 3 chemical mixtures (metals, metal and PAHs, and metal and triclosan) and nasal MRSA colonization. All regression models were adjusted for confounders. RESULTS: The analytical sample was between ages 6-85, slightly more female, and predominantly non-smokers. Prevalence of SA carriage was 29.2%, and MRSA colonization prevalence was 1.2%. Within each chemical class, odds of SA colonization increased statistically significantly with exposure to mixtures of metals (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.02-1.20), phthalates (OR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.04-1.14), and phenols (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01-1.15). Exposure to a mixture of metals combined with PAHs was also associated with increased odds of MRSA carriage (OR = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.02-1.86). CONCLUSION: Results indicate an association between multiple environmental chemical mixtures and SA colonization, including MRSA. These findings support the need for further analysis of associations between chemical mixtures and SA colonization, as well as other components of the human microbiome.

PubMed ID: 32771801 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Carrier State; Child; Female; Humans; Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*; Middle Aged; Nutrition Surveys; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Staphylococcal Infections*/epidemiology; Staphylococcus aureus; Young Adult

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