Association of Vancomycin MIC and Molecular Characteristics with Clinical Outcomes in Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Acute Hematogenous Osteoarticular Infections in Children

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Apr 26;62(5):e00084-18. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00084-18. Print 2018 May.


Strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), particularly those belonging to the USA300 pulsotype, have been well described to cause severe osteoarticular infections (OAIs). A vancomycin MIC of ≥1.5 μg/ml has been demonstrated to contribute to disease severity in adults with MRSA and even methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) bacteremia. Little data exist describing the outcomes of MSSA OAIs in terms of molecular characteristics and vancomycin MIC. All patients/isolates were chosen from a surveillance study at Texas Children's Hospital (TCH). S. aureus OAI isolates were identified from 2011 to 2016 and subjected to vancomycin Etests, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and PCR to determine Panton-Valentine leucocidin (PVL) production and agr group. Two hundred fifty-two cases of S. aureus OAI were identified; 183 cases were MSSA (72.6%). During the study period, a decrease in the proportion of cases secondary to MRSA was observed, declining from 37.8% to 15.9% (P = 0.02). Of the MSSA isolates, 26.2% and 23.5% were USA300 and PVL positive, respectively. An increase in the proportion of MSSA isolates with a vancomycin MIC of ≥1.5 μg/ml occurred in the study period (P = 0.004). In MSSA, an elevated vancomycin MIC was associated with multiple surgical procedures and venous thromboses, even when adjusting for empirical β-lactam use. An increase in vancomycin MIC was noted among isolates belonging to agr group 4 during the study period. Methicillin resistance is declining among S. aureus OAI isolates at TCH. Simultaneously, vancomycin Etest MICs are increasing among MSSA isolates. Vancomycin MICs of ≥2 μg/ml are associated with adverse clinical outcomes in MSSA irrespective of antibiotic choice, suggesting that this may be a surrogate for organism virulence.

Keywords: Etest; MRSA; MSSA; osteomyelitis; pediatric; vancomycin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Vancomycin / pharmacology
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use*


  • Vancomycin