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Paediatr Child Health. 2011 May;16(5):276-80.

Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections in children: A population-based assessment.

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Department of Paediatrics;



Although Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of bloodstream infections, population-based data on these infections in children are limited.


To describe the epidemiology of S aureus bacteremia in children.


Population-based surveillance for all incident S aureus bacteremias was conducted among children (18 years of age or younger) living in the Calgary Health Region (Alberta) from 2000 to 2006.


During the seven-year study, 120 S aureus bloodstream infections occurred among 119 patients; 27% were nosocomial, 18% health care associated and 56% community acquired. The annual incidence was 6.5/100,000 population and 0.094/1000 live births. A total of 52% had a significant underlying condition, and this was higher for nosocomial cases. Bone and joint (40%), bacteremia without a focus (33%), and skin and soft tissue infections (15%) were the most common clinical syndromes. Infections due to methicillin-resistant S aureus were uncommon (occurring in one infection) and three patients (2.5%) died.


S aureus bacteremia is an important cause of morbidity in the paediatric age group. Underlying medical conditions and implanted devices are important risk factors. Methicillin-resistant S aureus and mortality rates are low.


Bloodstream infection; Clinical syndromes; Staphylococcus aureus

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