Implementation Guide for the Surveillance of Staphylococcus aureus Bloodstream Infection

CPD Hours: 1
Current as at 13 October 2021
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is both a commensal colonizing organism of the skin and upper respiratory tract and a human pathogen, responsible for causing a wide range of infections ranging from fairly benign skin and soft tissue infections to life-threatening conditions such as bacteraemia and endocarditis, osteomyelitis, bacteremia, and fatal pneumonia.

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“Establish the criteria for reporting of SABSI”

Course Content

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is both a commensal colonizing organism of the skin and upper respiratory tract and a human pathogen, responsible for causing a wide range of infections ranging from fairly benign skin and soft tissue infections to life-threatening conditions such as bacteraemia and endocarditis, osteomyelitis, bacteremia, and fatal pneumonia.

Staphylococcus aureus was first discovered in 1880 in Aberdeen, Scotland, by surgeon Alexander Ogston from patients with ulcerated sores. Staphylococcus aureus belongs to the genus Staphylococcus, Firmicutes; is positive for Gram stain, ~0.8 μm in diameter, arranged in a “string of grapes” under a microscope, an aerobic or anaerobic; and grows optimally at 37°C, and at pH7.4

SABSI is one of the most severe manifestations of S. aureus with an estimated mortality rate of 20%. However, the outcome of SABSI is variable, with many patients developing uncomplicated resolving infections that respond to antimicrobial therapy while others develop persistent or complicated infection with metastatic foci (e.g. infective endocarditis (IE)), which may be fatal.

Research says that it’s also evident that S. aureus has the ability to metabolically adapt to improve colonization and overcome challenges imparted by the immune system.

To fully appreciate the risks associated with SABSI and the implications of these risks for management strategies, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare has published the Implementation Guide for the surveillance of SABSI.

This guide was developed to support standardised national surveillance and reporting of HA-SABSI by Australian acute healthcare facilities (HCFs). This guide is a vital tool because validation of data is an important component of HAI surveillance, it ensures data being used for performance monitoring or national reporting is valid and reliable, it adds credibility when surveillance data is used to modify clinical practice, and it identifies areas of concern for future research.

Learning Outcomes

In this session, you will:

  • Establish the criteria for reporting of SABSI
  • Describe the classification of bloodstream infections
  • Identify the determining location of attribution
  • Define the application of the healthcare-associated SABSI definition 
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