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Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of disease, particularly in colonized persons. Although methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections have become increasingly reported, populationbased studies of students preparing for the health professions having S. aureus and MRSA colonization are lacking. We have found that students in microbiology classes having more contact with individuals in a healthcare setting are more likely to carry MRSA in their nares and axilla. The classes who had the highest rate of MRSA carriage during the school year, 2013-2014, were those with nursing students, who had a greater exposure to clinical settings and nursing homes. The class which had the highest rate of S. aureus carriage, had nearly 50% of the infected students had been involved a clinical setting. Since the majority of the students in the nursing and biology courses are looking to pursue a career in medicine, this sampling was very beneficial to inform them and others if they were a carrier of S. aureus and MRSA and the preventative measures to reduce the risk of infection.

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