Epidemiology of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia in Children

Pediatrics. 2017 Jun;139(6):e20170183. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-0183. Epub 2017 May 5.


Background: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia is associated with high rates of treatment failure in adults. The epidemiology, clinical outcomes, and risk factors for treatment failure associated with MRSA bacteremia in children are poorly understood.

Methods: Multicenter, retrospective cohort study of children ≤18 years hospitalized with MRSA bacteremia across 3 tertiary care children's hospitals from 2007 to 2014. Treatment failure was defined as persistent bacteremia >3 days, recurrence of bacteremia within 30 days, or attributable 30-day mortality. Potential risk factors for treatment failure, including the site of infection, vancomycin trough concentration, critical illness, and need for source control, were collected via manual chart review and evaluated using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Of 232 episodes of MRSA bacteremia, 72 (31%) experienced treatment failure and 23% developed complications, whereas 5 (2%) died within 30 days. Multivariable analysis of 174 children treated with vancomycin with steady-state vancomycin concentrations obtained found that catheter-related infections (odds ratio [OR], 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.13-0.94) and endovascular infections (OR, 4.35; 95% CI: 1.07-17.7) were associated with lower and higher odds of treatment failure, respectively, whereas a first vancomycin serum trough concentration <10 μg/mL was not associated with treatment failure (OR, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.49-3.66). Each additional day of bacteremia was associated with a 50% (95% CI: 26%-79%) increased odds of bacteremia-related complications.

Conclusions: Hospitalized children with MRSA bacteremia frequently suffered treatment failure and complications, but mortality was low. The odds of bacteremia-related complications increased with each additional day of bacteremia, emphasizing the importance of achieving rapid sterilization.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / blood
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy*
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Bacteremia / mortality
  • Catheter-Related Infections / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / microbiology
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Failure
  • Vancomycin / blood
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Vascular Diseases / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Vancomycin