The impact of infectious diseases consultation for children with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia

Pediatr Res. 2022 Dec;92(6):1598-1605. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02251-0. Epub 2022 Aug 18.


Background: Despite clear benefit of improved outcomes in adults, the impact of infectious diseases (ID) consultation for Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia in children remains understudied.

Methods: To assess the impact of pediatric ID consultation on management and outcomes, we conducted a cohort study of children with S. aureus bacteremia at St. Louis Children's Hospital from 2011 to 2018. We assessed adherence to six established quality-of-care indicators (QCIs). We applied propensity score methodology to examine the impact of ID consultation on risk of treatment failure, a composite of all-cause mortality or hospital readmission within 90 days.

Results: Of 306 patients with S. aureus bacteremia, 193 (63%) received ID consultation. ID consultation was associated with increased adherence to all QCIs, including proof-of-cure blood cultures, indicated laboratory studies, echocardiography, source control, targeted antibiotic therapy, and antibiotic duration. Obtaining proof-of-cure blood cultures and all indicated laboratory studies were associated with improved outcomes. In propensity score-weighted analyses, risk of treatment failure was similar among patients who did and did not receive ID consultation. However, the number of events was small and risk estimates were imprecise.

Conclusions: For children with S. aureus bacteremia, ID consultation improved adherence to QCIs, some of which were associated with improved clinical outcomes.

Impact: In children with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, consultation by an infectious diseases (ID) physician improved adherence to established quality-of-care indicators (QCIs). The current literature regarding ID consultation in pediatric S. aureus bacteremia is sparse. Three prior international studies demonstrated improved quality of care with ID consultation, though results were disparate regarding clinical outcomes. This article impacts the current literature by strengthening the evidence that ID consultation in children improves adherence to QCIs, and demonstrates that adherence to QCIs improves clinical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia* / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia* / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Communicable Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents