Cutaneous bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes in infants and children

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2014 Apr;61(2):457-78. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2013.12.004. Epub 2014 Jan 23.


Acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (SSSIs) are among the most common bacterial infections in children. The medical burden of SSSIs, particularly abscesses, has increased nationwide since the emergence of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. SSSIs represent a wide spectrum of disease severity. Prompt recognition, timely institution of appropriate therapy, and judicious antimicrobial use optimize patient outcomes. For abscesses, incision and drainage are paramount and might avoid the need for antibiotic treatment in uncomplicated cases. If indicated, empiric antimicrobial therapy should target Streptococcus pyogenes for nonpurulent SSSIs, such as uncomplicated cellulitis, and S aureus for purulent SSSIs such as abscesses.

Keywords: Abscess; Cellulitis; MRSA; Skin and soft tissue infection; Staphylococcus aureus; Streptococcus pyogenes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / isolation & purification*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents