Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in the Czech Republic: an epidemiological study

Burns. 2012 Mar;38(2):296-300. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Oct 28.


Objective: To identify the basic epidemiological characteristics of children hospitalized with diagnosis of Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in the Czech Republic in the years 1994-2009.

Introduction: Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is a relatively rare disease in childhood. This syndrome was first defined in 1878 by Baron Gottfried Ritter von Rittershainem and belongs to the group of diseases called Burn-like syndromes. It is a bullous skin disease caused by exfoliative toxins which are produced by certain types of Staphyloccocus aureus. Typical structures affected by these toxins are desmosome proteins called Desmoglein-1 located in the stratum granulosum of epidermis. Unlike in Lyell's syndrome or Stevens-Johnson's syndrome, the exfoliation is caused by loss of adhesivity particularly in the stratum granulosum and not by induction of apoptosis in the dermo-epidermal junction.

Material and methods: This retrospective study was conducted on patients hospitalized in the Czech Republic in the period from 1.1.1994 to 31.12.2009. The basic condition for the inclusion in the retrospective study was age under 1 year and hospitalization due to SSSS. A total of 399 children (177 girls) fulfilled the criteria for inclusion into the study. Information was obtained from a central data depository, the Department of Health Information and Statistics, Czech Republic.

Results: A total of 399 children under 1 year were hospitalized for the diagnosis of SSSS in the study period. The group included 177 girls and 222 boys. M:F ratio was 1.25:1. The average incidence of SSSS in the Czech Republic was 25.11 cases per 100,000 children under 1 year of age. The highest recorded incidence in the followed period was in 1994, when a total of 57 cases of SSSS was reported, namely 53.47 per 100,000 children. By contrast, in 2003, there were reported only 12 cases and the incidence of 12.81 per 100,000 children. The average length of hospitalization was 6.39 days. In 1995, the highest average length of hospitalization was reported, which was 8.1 days, and then in 2007, the lowest average length of hospitalization, 4.4 days. There was no significant difference in the length of hospitalization in boys and girls. None of the 399 children in the population died.

Conclusion: In our retrospective study, we established basic epidemiological characteristics of a group of children aged under 1 year with diagnosis of SSSS. As epidemiological data show, the occurrence of this syndrome is not sporadic, but steady.

MeSH terms

  • Burns / microbiology*
  • Czech Republic / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome / epidemiology*