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Volume 33, Number 2, June 2000

Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia and endocarditis

Feng-Yee Chang
Department of Internal Medicine, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC



Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia is a serious and common disease often associated with infective endocarditis. It occurs in both healthy, immunologically competent people in the community and compromised patients in the hospitals. For S. aureus bacteremia, questions on clinical issues such as antimicrobial treatment are raised. Is nafcillin/oxacillin superior to vancomycin? Does the addition of rifampin improve outcome? Does addition of aminoglycoside improve the outcome? Does increasing duration of therapy (> 4 weeks versus < 2 weeks) improve outcome? How many cases of community-acquired S. aureus bacteremia have endocarditis on admission? What are the risk factors that would separate bacteremia from endocarditis? What is the role of echocardiography? What are the indications for routine echocardiography? Are methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) more virulent than methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA)? What factors predict mortality in S. aureus bacteremia? Herein, the above important issues on S. aureus bacteremia and endocarditis are critically reviewed.


J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2000;33:63-68.