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Infect Dis (Lond). 2018 Jan;50(1):52-58. doi: 10.1080/23744235.2017.1405276. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Trends in incidence and resistance patterns of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia.

Author information

a Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease Unit , Tampere University Hospital , Tampere , Finland.
b Department of Health Security , National Institute for Health and Welfare , Helsinki , Finland.
c Department of Clinical Microbiology , Fimlab Laboratories , Tampere , Finland.
d Department of Infectious Diseases , National Institute for Health and Welfare , Helsinki , Finland.
e Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology , University of Turku , Turku , Finland.
f Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences , University of Tampere , Tampere , Finland.



Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) causes a significant burden on the population. Several infection control measures have been implemented in Pirkanmaa county to combat a local epidemic with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We aimed to study the epidemiology of SAB and antibiotic resistance of S. aureus and the possible influence of improved infection control.


Register data from 2005 to 2015 were retrospectively analysed to study the antimicrobial susceptibility, the incidence and mortality in SAB in a population-based setting.


The incidence of SAB increased during the study period from 21.6 to 35.8/100,000 population. The number of both health care-associated (HA) and community-associated (CA) cases has increased. The incidence of MSSA bacteremia increased from 19.9 to 35.2/100,000 population in Pirkanmaa in parallel to other parts of Finland. The incidence of MRSA bacteremia was 10-fold (4.5/100,000 population) higher in 2011 than in other parts of the country, but sank to the national level (0.59/100,000 population) in 2015. The fatality rate decreased from 22% to 17%. The proportion of penicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (PSSA) increased from 23.9% in 2008 to 43.1% in 2015.


The incidence of both HA and CA SAB has increased since 2005. Conversely, the proportion of MRSA and PRSA bacteremia has decreased. Promotion of infection control measures may have reduced the incidence of MRSA bacteremia but not the overall incidence of SAB. The rising proportion of PSSA enables the use of targeted, narrow spectrum antimicrobials.


Bacteremia; Hospital hygiene; MRSA; PRSA; PSSA; Staphylococcus aureus

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