A Major Reduction in Hospital-Onset Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteremia in Australia - 12 Years of Progress: An Observational Study

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Mitchell, B. G., Collignon, P. J., McCann, R., Wilkinson, I. J., & Wells, A. (2014). A major reduction in hospital-onset staphylococcus aureus bacteremia in Australia - 12 years of progress: An observational study. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 59(7), 969-975.

ISSN: 1058-4838



060501 Bacteriology| 060502 Infectious Agents| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111706 Epidemiology| 111716 Preventive Medicine

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Background. Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) is a serious cause of morbidity and mortality. This longitudinal study describes significant reductions in hospital-onset SAB (HO-SAB) in Australian hospitals over the past 12 years.

Methods. An observational cohort study design was used. Prospective surveillance of HO-SAB in 132 hospitals in Australia was undertaken. Aggregated data from all patients who acquired HO-SAB was collected (defined as 1 or more blood cultures positive for S. aureus taken from a patient who had been admitted to hospital for >48 hours). The primary outcome was the incidence of HO-SAB, including both methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and methicillin susceptible (MSSA) S. aureus strains.

Results. A total of 2733 HO-SAB cases were identified over the study period, giving an aggregate incidence of 0.90 per 10 000 patient-days (PDs) (95% confidence interval [CI], .86–.93). There was a 63% decrease in the annual incidence, from 1.72 per 10 000 PDs in 2002 (95% CI, 1.50–1.97) to 0.64 per 10 000 PDs (95% CI, .53–.76) in 2013. The mean reduction per year was 9.4% (95% CI, −8.1% to −10.7%). Significant reductions in both HO-MRSA (from 0.77 to 0.18 per 10 000 PDs) and HO-MSSA (from 1.71 to 0.64 per 10 000 PDs) bacteremia were observed.

Conclusions. There was a major and significant reduction in incidence of HO-SAB caused by both MRSA and MSSA in Australian hospitals since 2002. This reduction coincided with a range of infection prevention and control activities implemented during this time. It suggests that national and local efforts to reduce the burden of healthcare associated infections have been very successful.


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