A Literature Review Supporting the Proposed National Australian Definition for Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteraemia

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Mitchell, B. G., Gardner, A., Collignon, P., Stewart, L., & Cruickshank, M. (2010). A literature review supporting the proposed national Australian definition for Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia. Healthcare Infection, 15(4), 105-113. doi: 10.1071/HI10030



060502 Infectious Agents| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111706 Epidemiology


Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. During 2009, a national surveillance definition for SAB was developed through the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC). The aim of this paper is to review the literature surrounding SAB surveillance and in doing so, evaluate the recently developed Australian national definition for SAB. The issues examined in this paper that relate to SAB surveillance include detection, the management of duplicates, classification and acquisition of SAB. Upon reviewing the literature, it was clear that the national Australian SAB surveillance definitions developed by the ACSQHC Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance Committee are consistent with the majority of literature. Where inconsistencies exist, for example the lack of acquisition information in SAB surveillance programs in the United Kingdom, it is clear that the Australian surveillance definitions are more robust and provide more useful information. The national surveillance definitions for SAB developed by the ACSQHC surveillance committee sets an improved standard for other countries.


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At the time of writing Brett Mitchell was affiliated with James Cook University.