Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2022 Aug;28(8):1076-1084. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2022.03.015. Epub 2022 Mar 23.


Background: Precise estimates of mortality in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) are important to convey prognosis and guide the design of interventional studies.

Objectives: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate all-cause mortality in SAB and explore mortality change over time.

Data sources: The MEDLINE and Embase databases, as well as the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, were searched from January 1, 1991 to May 7, 2021.

Study eligibility criteria: Human observational studies on patients with S. aureus bloodstream infection were included.

Participants: The study analyzed data of patients with a positive blood culture for S. aureus.

Methods: Two independent reviewers extracted study data and assessed risk of bias using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. A generalized, linear, mixed random effects model was used to pool estimates.

Results: A total of 341 studies were included, describing a total of 536,791 patients. From 2011 onward, the estimated mortality was 10.4% (95% CI, 9.0%-12.1%) at 7 days, 13.3% (95% CI, 11.1%-15.8%) at 2 weeks, 18.1% (95% CI, 16.3%-20.0%) at 1 month, 27.0% (95% CI, 21.5%-33.3%) at 3 months, and 30.2% (95% CI, 22.4%-39.3%) at 1 year. In a meta-regression model of 1-month mortality, methicillin-resistant S. aureus had a higher mortality rate (adjusted OR (aOR): 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06 per 10% increase in methicillin-resistant S. aureus proportion). Compared with prior to 2001, more recent time periods had a lower mortality rate (aOR: 0.88; 95% CI, 0.75-1.03 for 2001-2010; aOR: 0.82; 95% CI, 0.69-0.97 for 2011 onward).

Conclusions: SAB mortality has decreased over the last 3 decades. However, more than one in four patients will die within 3 months, and continuous improvement in care remains necessary.

Keywords: Bacteraemia; Meta-analysis; Mortality; Staphylococcus aureus.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia* / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Sepsis* / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents