Long-term outcome and quality of care of patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 Mar;23(3):157-62. doi: 10.1007/s10096-003-1083-3. Epub 2004 Feb 25.


To assess the long-term outcome and influence of clinical management of patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB), 229 patients with blood cultures positive for Staphylococcus aureus between January 1997 and December 2000 were retrospectively identified and followed up. Risk factors, source of infection, treatment, clinical course, and outcome were recorded by chart review. For the assessment of 1-year survival, a questionnaire was sent to family doctors and government registration offices. Time of initial antibiotic therapy, duration of antibiotic treatment and performance of echocardiography were regarded as indicators of the quality of the clinical management of SAB. Among the 229 patients studied, 218 were evaluable for 1-year survival. Crude mortality after 1 year was 37.6% year. Within 30 days 43 (19.7%) patients had died, and 39 (17.9%) additional patients died thereafter. Using multivariate analysis, the following variables were associated with death: malignant disease (odds ratio [OR] 4.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6-8.9), pneumonia (OR, 3.6; 95%CI, 1.2-10.2), age >60 years (OR, 2.6; 95%CI, 1.5-4.5), and known source of infection (OR, 2.3; 95%CI, 1.3-4.1). Among 160 patients with a completely assessable treatment course 73 (46%) had received antibiotics for at least 14 days. A delay of antibiotic treatment of 1 day or more after microbiological diagnosis was observed in 28.3% of patients (i.e., 60 of 212 patients who received at least 1 dose of antibiotics). Echocardiography was performed in 101 (44.1%) cases. Overall, the findings indicate that standard guidelines for the management of SAB are followed only in part in clinical practice. In order to reduce the considerable mortality associated with SAB and to improve short- and long-term outcome, efforts should be made to increase adherence to recommendations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy*
  • Bacteremia / mortality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / mortality
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross Infection
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Quality Control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / mortality
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents