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Volume 11, Number 4—April 2005


Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia, Australia

Peter Collignon*Comments to Author , Graeme R. Nimmo†, Thomas Gottlieb‡, Iain B. Gosbell§, and on behalf of the Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance
Author affiliations: *The Canberra Hospital, Garran, Australian Capital Territory, Australia; †Queensland Health Pathology Service, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; ‡Concord Hospital, Concord, New South Wales, Australia; and; §Southwestern Area Pathology Service, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

Main Article

Table 4

International rates and numbers of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB)*

Country Y Population SAB/y SAB/105/y % MRSA
Present report 1998–2002 19,500,000 6,900 35 27
Victoria (25)† 1990–1999 4,502,000 804 27 28
Northern Jutland (21) 1996–1998 493,000 155 31 ND
Whole of Denmark (17)‡ 2002 5,350,000 1,488 28 0.6
Ireland (23)§ 1999 3,700,000 ND* 25 36
United Kingdom
England (20,22 2002–2003
2003 49,200,000 18,403
19,244 37
39 40
Northern Ireland (22,24)# 2002
2003 1,697,000 397
569 23
34 38
Wales (22)# 2003 2,920,000 742 25 47
Connecticut (14)** 1998 1,124,337 634 56 ND*

*MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; ND, no data given.
†In Victoria, 8,036 SAB episodes were reported, resulting in a rate of 17.8/100,000. The final rate (27.0) for the entire state was extrapolated from this figure. The Victorian scheme is estimated to capture about two thirds of all bacteremia episodes that occur in that state per year.
‡System in place in Denmark since 1960, with numbers of episodes continually rising (e.g., in 1966, 400 per year and total population 4.8 million or 8/100,000). Collection data based on reviewing all discharge summaries and laboratory samples (15 of 16 counties). Associated 23% mortality rate in 2002, and 22% of these deaths were directly related to sepsis.
¶Compulsory reporting system. Unclear if all community onset episodes were included. In England, underreporting occurred with a voluntary system (only 13,770 episodes reported for 2003; thus, a 50% increase with compulsory system) (22).
#This rate is based on voluntary reporting system. Real rate might be 50% higher (22,24).
**Retrospective case analysis. Rate increased with age, urban areas, and African American ethnicity. 15% of community-onset SAB episodes were MRSA.

Main Article

1Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance contributors to this study were the following: Thomas Gottlieb, Concord Hospital; David McGechie, Denise Daley, Fremantle Hospital; John Ferguson, John Hunter Hospital; James Branley, Nepean Hospital; Graeme R. Nimmo, Princes Alexandria Hospital; Gary Lum, Royal Darwin Hospital; Alistair McGregor, Royal Hobart Hospital; Clarence Fernandes, Royal North Shore Hospital; Iain Gosbell, Archie Darbar, South West Area Health Service, New South Wales; Peter Collignon, Jan Roberts, Canberra Hospital.

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