Antibiotic management of Staphylococcus aureus infections in US Children's Hospitals, 1999-2008

Joshua C. Herigon, Adam L. Hersh, Jeffrey S. Gerber, Theoklis E. Zaoutis, Jason G. Newland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to describe trends in antibiotic management for Staphylococcus aureus infections among hospitalized children from 1999 to 2008. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted by using the Pediatric Health Information Systems database to describe antibiotic treatment of inpatients with S aureus infection at 25 children's hospitals in the United States. Patients who were admitted from 1999 to 2008 with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes for S aureus infection were included. Trends in the use of vancomycin, clindamycin, linezolid, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, cefazolin, and oxacillin/nafcillin were examined for percentage use and days of therapy per 1000 patient-days. RESULTS: A total of 64 813 patients had a discharge diagnosis for S aureus infection. The incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA) infections during this period increased 10-fold, from 2 to 21 cases per 1000 admissions, whereas the methicillin-susceptible S aureus infection rate remained stable. Among patients with S aureus infections, antibiotics that treat MRSA increased from 52% to 79% of cases, whereas those that treat only methicillin-susceptible S aureus declined from 66% to <30% of cases. Clindamycin showed the greatest increase, from 21% in 1999 to 63% in 2008. Similar trends were observed by using days of therapy per 1000 patient-days. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic prescribing patterns for the treatment of S aureus infections have changed significantly during the past decade, reflecting the emergence of community-associated MRSA. Clindamycin is now the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for S aureus infections among hospitalized children. The substantial use of clindamycin emphasizes the importance of continuous monitoring of local S aureus susceptibility patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1294-e1300
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Antibiotic use
  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatric
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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