Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Determinants of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus native bone and joint infection treatment failure: a retrospective cohort study

Florent Valour12*, Anissa Bouaziz1, Judith Karsenty1, Florence Ader12, Sébastien Lustig23, Frédéric Laurent24, Christian Chidiac12, Tristan Ferry12 and on behalf of the Lyon BJI study group

Author Affiliations

1 Service des maladies infectieuses et tropicales, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Groupement Hospitalier Nord, Lyon, France

2 Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, INSERM U1111, International Centre for Research in Infectious diseases, Lyon, France

3 Chirurgie orthopédique, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Groupement Hospitalier Nord, Lyon, France

4 Laboratoire de bactériologie, Centre National de Référence des Staphylocoques, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:443  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-443

Published: 16 August 2014



Although methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) native bone and joint infection (BJI) constitutes the more frequent clinical entity of BJI, prognostic studies mostly focused on methicillin-resistant S. aureus prosthetic joint infection. We aimed to assess the determinants of native MSSA BJI outcomes.


Retrospective cohort study (2001–2011) of patients admitted in a reference hospital centre for native MSSA BJI. Treatment failure determinants were assessed using Kaplan-Meier curves and binary logistic regression.


Sixty-six patients (42 males [63.6%]; median age 61.2 years; interquartile range [IQR] 45.9–71.9) presented an acute (n = 38; 57.6%) or chronic (n = 28; 42.4%) native MSSA arthritis (n = 15; 22.7%), osteomyelitis (n = 19; 28.8%) or spondylodiscitis (n = 32; 48.5%), considered as “difficult-to-treat” in 61 cases (92.4%). All received a prolonged (27.1 weeks; IQR, 16.9–36.1) combined antimicrobial therapy, after surgical management in 37 cases (56.1%). Sixteen treatment failures (24.2%) were observed during a median follow-up period of 63.3 weeks (IQR, 44.7–103.1), including 13 persisting infections, 1 relapse after treatment disruption, and 2 super-infections. Independent determinants of treatment failure were the existence of a sinus tract (odds ratio [OR], 5.300; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.166–24.103) and a prolonged delay to infectious disease specialist referral (OR, 1.134; 95% CI 1.013–1.271).


The important treatment failure rate pinpointed the difficulty of cure encountered in complicated native MSSA BJI. An early infectious disease specialist referral is essential, especially in debilitated patients or in presence of sinus tract.

Staphylococcus aureus; Bone and joint infection; Treatment failure