Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia of unknown primary source: where do we stand?

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Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia of unknown primary source: where do we stand?

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2008 Nov;32 Suppl 1:S21-5

Authors: Saginur R, Suh KN

There is no generally held definition of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) of unknown source. For this paper, we consider it to occur when one or more positive blood cultures obtained from a patient grows S. aureus and the origin of the bacteraemia is uncertain after history, physical examination, chest radiography and any further investigations provoked by clinical findings. The incidence of SAB appears to be rising, particularly community-acquired (CA), but also hospital- or healthcare-acquired (HA). Major drivers appear to be intravenous drug use and increasing use of indwelling intravascular devices. There is an increasing prevalence of meticillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), both CA and HA. There is increasing hospital acquisition of MRSA that is phenotypically like CA strains, and there is increasing community-based treatment of HA infection. Metastatic infection is a risk of SAB. Infective endocarditis (IE) is a longstanding dreaded concern of SAB. Transoesophageal echocardiography appears to be a superior modality of recognising IE in the context of SAB and can guide the duration of therapy. Prosthetic joints and heart valves are at particular risk of haematogenous seeding from SAB. Implications of the rise of CA-MRSA in terms of metastatic infection warrant further study.

PMID: 18757183 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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