Tea and Coffee Consumption and MRSA Nasal Carriage

Annals of Family Medicine, 07/21/2011

Consumption of hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower likelihood of methicillin–resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage. The findings raise the possibility of a promising new method to decrease MRSA nasal carriage that is safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible.


  • Authors performed a secondary analysis of data from the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to investigate the relationship between the consumption of coffee, hot tea, cold tea, and soft drinks, and MRSA nasal carriage among the non–institutionalized population of the United States.


  • An estimated 2.5 million persons (1.4% of the population) were MRSA nasal carriers
  • In an adjusted logistic regression analysis controlling for age, race, sex, poverty–income ratio, current health status, hospitalization in the past 12 months, and use of antibiotics in the past month, individuals who reported consuming hot tea were one–half as likely to have MRSA nasal carriage relative to individuals who drank no hot tea (odds ratio = 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.31–0.71).
  • Similarly, individuals who reported consuming coffee had about a one–half reduction in the risk of MRSA nasal carriage relative to individuals who drank no coffee (odds ratio = 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.24–0.93).

Print Article Summary Cat 2 CME Report