Characteristics of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections in three regions of Korea, 2009-2011: A multi-center cohort study

Kyoung Ho Song, Eu Suk Kim, Hye yun Sin, Kyung Hwa Park, Sook In Jung, Nara Yoon, Dong Min Kim, Chang Seop Lee, Hee Chang Jang, Yoonseon Park, Kkot Sil Lee, Yee Gyung Kwak, Jae Hoon Lee, Seong Yeon Park, Minkyo Song, Sue K. Park, Yeong Seon Lee, Hong Bin Kim

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Background: Despite the importance of invasive Staphylococcus aureus (ISA) infection, its overall burden in non-selected populations has only been defined in a small number of studies in Europe and North America. To define the characteristics of ISA infections in Korea, we conducted a multi-center cohort study to estimate population-based incidence rates.Methods: We conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study at nine university-affiliated active-surveillance core centers (ASCs) in three regions of Korea. To cover all available clinical microbiologic laboratories, we classified the laboratories in these regions into three groups according to their clinical environment as: 1) Nine ASCs, 2) Five major commercial laboratories and 3) Forty-four acute-care hospital-affiliated microbiology laboratories. We requested all the laboratories to report prospectively their numbers of cases of S. aureus isolated from normally sterile sites. Detailed clinical information was collected about the cases in the nine ASCs.Results: From 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2011, a total of 1,198 cases of ISA infection were identified at the nine ASCs, including 748 (62%) methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections. Most (81%) ISA infections were healthcare-associated (HCA): 653 (55%) hospital-onset and 322 (27%) community-onset. 223 (19%) were community-associated infections. The most common primary diagnosis was catheter-associated infection (225 cases, 19%). Respiratory tract infection (160, 13%), skin & soft tissue (152, 13%) and bone & joint infections (120, 10%) were also common. 30-day and 12-week mortality rates were 25.6% (262/1,024) and 36.5% (314/860), respectively. Complications, including metastatic infection within 12 weeks, occurred in 17.8% of ISA infections. The most common site of metastatic infection was the lung (9.8%, 84/860). Based on the total of 2,806 observed cases of ISA infection, estimated annual rates of ISA and invasive MRSA infections were 43.3 and 27.7 per 100,000 populations, respectively.Conclusions: Our data provide important information about the clinical characteristics of ISA infections. We estimate that over 21,000 ISA infections and 13,000 invasive MRSA infections occurred in Korea in 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Article number581
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2013


  • Bacteremia
  • Cohort
  • Incidence
  • Invasive infection
  • Methicillin-resistant
  • Staphylococcus aureus

Cite this

Song, K. H., Kim, E. S., Sin, H. Y., Park, K. H., Jung, S. I., Yoon, N., Kim, D. M., Lee, C. S., Jang, H. C., Park, Y., Lee, K. S., Kwak, Y. G., Lee, J. H., Park, S. Y., Song, M., Park, S. K., Lee, Y. S., & Kim, H. B. (2013). Characteristics of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections in three regions of Korea, 2009-2011: A multi-center cohort study. BMC Infectious Diseases, 13(1), [581].