Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have revealed that formerly overlooked sites deep inside the nose may be reservoirs for Staphylococcus aureus, a major bacterial cause of disease. Moreover, the relative abundance of S. aureus was inversely related to that of another bacterial species, C. pseudodiphtheriticum. When one was present at high levels, the other was present at low levels or absent. The researchers suspect that something C. pseudodiphtheticum produces and secretes — perhaps a protein, or possibly a small molecule — is responsible for S. aureus’ failure to thrive. If such a substance could be identified, Pamp said, it could provide clues to the development of new compounds to prevent or treat S. aureus infections.