Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia surveillance

Background

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that's a common coloniser of human skin and mucosa. It can cause disease, particularly if there's an opportunity for the bacteria to enter the body. Illnesses that may develop include:

  • skin infections
  • wound infections
  • urinary tract infections
  • pneumonia
  • bacteraemia

After this, blood stream infection may then develop.

Most strains of this bacterium are sensitive to many antibiotics, and infections can be effectively treated. Some S. aureus bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic meticillin, they're called meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Bacteraemia occurs when bacteria get into the blood stream. Blood stream infection is also sometimes called septicaemia, which implies greater severity and clinical significance. A wide variety of bacteria can cause bacteraemia, one of the most common being Staphylococcus aureus.

Since 2001, Scotland's had a mandatory MRSA bacteraemia surveillance programme, publishing quarterly reports of the numbers and rates of MRSA bacteraemias. In 2006 the programme was extended to include meticillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) bacteraemias and in 2014, to include enhanced Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) surveillance.

Data and surveillance

Quarterly epidemiological data commentaries

The commentaries contain quarterly epidemiological data by NHS board and nationally for Scotland jointly for:

  • Clostridioides difficile infection
  • Escherichia coli bacteraemia
  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia
  • surgical site infection

Read the latest commentary on quarterly epidemiological data in Scotland:

View all previous quarterly epidemiological reports

Surveillance protocol