Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers


Clinical and molecular epidemiology of community-onset invasive Staphylococcus aureus infection in New Zealand children

D. A. WILLIAMSONa1a2a3 c1http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7363-6665, S. R. RITCHIEa1, S. A. ROBERTSa2, G. W. COOMBSa4a5, M. G. THOMASa1, O. HANNAFORDa6, M. G. BAKERa7, D. LENNONa1 and J. D. FRASERa1

a1 Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand

a2 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand

a3 Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Wellington, New Zealand

a4 Australian Collaborating Centre for Enterococcus and Staphylococcus Species (ACCESS) Typing and Research, PathWest Laboratory Medicine, Perth, Australia

a5 School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

a6 Department of Statistics, NZIAS, Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

a7 Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand

id1     http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7363-6665


Our aim was to describe the epidemiology and incidence of community-onset invasive S. aureus disease in children presenting to our hospital, and to compare the clonal complexes and virulence genes of S. aureus strains causing invasive and non-invasive disease. The virulence gene repertoire of invasive disease isolates was characterized using DNA microarray and compared with the virulence gene repertoire of non-invasive S. aureus isolates. Over the study period, 163 children had an invasive S. aureus infection. There was no difference in the distribution of clonal complexes or in the prevalence of genes encoding virulence factors between invasive and non-invasive isolates. Future research should include a strong focus on identifying the host and environmental factors that, along with organism virulence factors, are contributing to the patterns of invasive S. aureus disease observed in New Zealand.

(Received October 13 2013)

(Revised January 06 2014)

(Accepted January 06 2014)

(Online publication February 14 2014)

Key words

  • Paediatrics;
  • Staphylococcus aureus ;
  • statistics


c1 Author for correspondence: Dr D. A. Williamson, Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Park Road, Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand. (Email: deb.williamson@auckland.ac.nz)