VA Resident Report: What is the distribution of arthritis associated with systemic infection?

The Bottom Line: Staphylococcus aureus is the main cause of septic arthritis involving native joints, although many other organisms are encountered also. In our center, neither the distribution nor the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of the causative organisms changed significantly over the last 30 years.

Table 1 Organisms responsible for septic arthritis.  Page 439

Dubost, J., Couderc, M., Tatar, Z., Tournadre, A., Lopez, J., Mathieu, S., & Soubrier, M. (2014). Three-decade trends in the distribution of organisms causing septic arthritis in native joints: Single-center study of 374 cases. Joint, Bone, Spine, 81(5), 438-440.

In this study, the distribution and antibiotic susceptibility profile of the organisms responsible for septic arthritis showed little change over the 30-year study period. Importantly, no significant increase in MRSA was noted, in keeping with a previous study. These findings do not support the use in our center of broader-spectrum antibiotics in patients for whom empirical antibiotic therapy is deemed necessary.

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