Rates of, and risk factors for, septic arthritis in patients with invasive pneumococcal disease: prospective cohort study

BMC Infect Dis. 2017 Oct 12;17(1):680. doi: 10.1186/s12879-017-2797-7.


Background: There are many case reports of septic arthritis complicating invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD); however, no study has compared patients with IPD with septic arthritis to those who didn't develop septic arthritis Thus, we aimed to determine the rates of, and risk factors for, septic arthritis in patients with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).

Methods: Socio-demographic, clinical, and serological data were captured on all patients with IPD in Northern Alberta, Canada from 2000 to 2014. Septic arthritis was identified by attending physicians. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses were used to compare characteristics of those with septic arthritis and IPD to those who did not.

Results: Septic arthritis developed in 51 of 3251 (1.6%) of patients with IPD. Inability to walk independently, male sex, and underlying joint disease were risk factors for developing septic arthritis in patients with IPD. Capsular serotypes 22 and 12F were more common in patients with septic arthritis than those without.

Conclusions: In patients with IPD, septic arthritis is uncommon. Certain risk factors such as walking with or without assistance and underlying joint disease make biological sense as damaged joints are more likely to be infected in the presence of bacteremia.

Trial registration: Not applicable.

Keywords: Risk factors; Septic arthritis; Streptococcus Pneumoniae.

MeSH terms

  • Alberta
  • Arthritis, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / etiology
  • Arthritis, Infectious / physiopathology
  • Bacteremia
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pneumococcal Infections / complications*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Serogroup
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology


  • Pneumococcal Vaccines