A new study has found a decline in Golden Staph (Staphylococcus aureus) infections in hospitals, but a rise in infections acquired outside hospitals.

Led by Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity infectious diseases, specialists have analysed quarterly data from 2011 to 2016 from 93 Victorian public hospitals and 58 Western Australian public hospitals.

“A total of 10,320 SAB [Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections] events were reported (7,262 in Victoria, 3,058 in WA,” the report states.

“Eight hundred infections (65.9 per cent) were community-associated, corresponding to an aggregate crude rate of 13.3 CA-SABs [community-acquired infections] per 100,000 person-years,” the researchers found.

“The incidence in each state increased significantly during the study period: 8 per cent per year in Victoria and 6 per cent per year in WA.

“The incidence of CA-SABs was higher among older patients and in men, and was particularly high for men over 60: the standardised incidence in this group was 50.9 cases in Victoria and 56.7 cases per 100,000 person-years in WA, twice the incidence among women of the same age (Victoria, 24.7; WA, 24.9 cases per 100 000 person-years).”

The researchers pointed out that some infected persons would have been managed entirely in private health care, meaning that “we will have underestimated the incidence of CA-SAB”.

The next step, the researchers wrote, is to characterise the isolates responsible for infection. This would “assist in identifying virulence factors and the relatedness of isolates”.

“Further evaluation of infection risks in people over 60 years of age is also needed for developing targeted prevention strategies,” they concluded.

More information is accessible here.