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J Paediatr Child Health. 2002 Jun;38(3):290-4.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in children: a 5-year retrospective review.

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Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



The clinical presentation of Staphyloccocus aureus bacteraemia has been well described in adults, but there is a paucity of published data on the presentation of S. aureus bacteraemia in children. This review sought to compare the presentation of S. aureus in children with that of adults.


We conducted a 5-year retrospective chart review of S. aureus bacteraemia at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children between 1994 and 1998.


Of the 140 episodes of S. aureus bacteraemia, 53% were community acquired and 47% nosocomially acquired. The clinical presentation of S. aureus bacteraemia in the children in the present study differed significantly from published studies of adult patients. Of children with community-acquired bacteraemia without pre-existing medical conditions, 59% had a bone or joint infection, which is higher than adult series. Endocarditis has been associated with up to 30% of community-acquired bacteraemia in adults but was much less frequent (1.4%) in the present study. Despite the infrequent use of empiric antibiotic therapy (34% of episodes), the case fatality rate (1.4%) was significantly lower than the published literature relating to adults (11-32%).


The present study highlights the differences between S. aureus bacteraemia in adults and children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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