Persistence of Staphylococcus aureus as detected by polymerase chain reaction in the synovial fluid of a patient with septic arthritis

Br J Rheumatol. 1997 Feb;36(2):203-6. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/36.2.203.


Septic arthritis commonly occurs in the rheumatoid arthritis population. The diagnosis is frequently delayed and the associated mortality is high. In this brief report, we present a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and prosthetic knee joints who developed septic arthritis and had persisting evidence of Staphylococcus aureus DNA in synovial fluid, from his knees, which was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a gene probe. This was detected until 10 weeks of therapy despite adequate antibiotic treatment and a sterile synovial fluid. In the future, it may be found that PCR of the synovial fluid will be a valuable investigation for the diagnosis and management of septic arthritis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / drug therapy
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis / microbiology
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Synovial Fluid / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial