There has been a persistent increase in the number of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and meticillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteraemia in the UK. This prospective study included 147 episodes of S. aureus bacteraemia in 139 patients over a 14 month period, from 1 November 2001 to 31 December 2002. Eighty-seven (59%) episodes in 84 patients and 60 (41%) in 56 patients were due to MRSA and MSSA, respectively. An intra-vascular device (29, 33%) and a soft-tissue (15, 25%) source were the commonest identifiable foci for bacteraemia in the MRSA and MSSA groups, respectively. Attributable mortality in the MRSA group was higher than the MSSA group (33% vs 16%; P = 0.03) but there was no statistical difference for either attributable (P = 0.35) or crude (P = 0.39) mortality between the two groups, when adjusted for age, respiratory focus and inappropriate antibiotic therapy. A respiratory source (P = 0.02) and inappropriate antibiotic therapy (P = 0.02) were associated with attributable mortality in the MRSA group whereas advanced age was the only risk factor (P = 0.02) in the MSSA group. The present study shows that S. aureus bacteraemia continues to be a serious infection mostly affecting the elderly and emphasizes the need for improved strategy in the control and management of this condition. © 2006 The Hospital Infection Society.
- staphylococcus aureus