To evaluate a new classification for bloodstream infections that differentiates hospital acquired, healthcare associated, and community acquired in patients with blood cultures positive for Staphylococcus aureus.
Prospective, observational study.
Three tertiary-care, university-affiliated hospitals in Dublin, Ireland, and Strasbourg, France.
Two hundred thirty consecutive patients older than 18 years with blood cultures positive for S. aureus.
S. aureus bacteremia (SAB) was defined as hospital acquired if the first positive blood culture was performed more than 48 hours after admission. Other SABs were classified as healthcare associated or community acquired according to the definition proposed by Friedman et al. When available, strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Eighty-two patients were considered as having community-acquired bacteremia according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classification. Of these 82 patients, 56% (46) had healthcare-associated SAB. MRSA prevalence was similar in patients with hospital-acquired and healthcare-associated SAB (41% vs 33%; P > .05), but significantly lower in the group with community-acquired SAB (11%; P < .03). PFGE of MRSA strains showed that most community-acquired and healthcare-associated MRSA strains were similar to hospital-acquired MRSA strains. On multivariate analysis, Friedman's classification was more effective than the CDC classification for predicting MRSA.
These results support the call for a new classification for community-acquired bacteremia that would account for healthcare received outside the hospital by patients with SAB.