Microbiological aetiology, epidemiology, and clinical profile of prosthetic joint infections: are current antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines effective?

Trisha N. Peel, Allen C. Cheng, Kirsty L. Buising, Peter F. M. Choong

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198 Citations (Scopus)


Prosthetic joint infections remain a major complication of arthroplasty. At present, local and international guidelines recommend cefazolin as a surgical antibiotic prophylaxis at the time of arthroplasty. This retrospective cohort study conducted across 10 hospitals over a 3-year period (January 2006 to December 2008) investigated the epidemiology and microbiological etiology of prosthetic joint infections. There were 163 cases of prosthetic joint infection identified. From a review of the microbiological culture results, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and coagulase-negative staphylococci were isolated in 45% of infections. In addition, polymicrobial infections, particularly those involving Gram-negative bacilli and enterococcal species, were common (36%). The majority (88%) of patients received cefazolin as an antibiotic prophylaxis at the time of arthroplasty. In 63% of patients in this cohort, the microorganisms subsequently obtained were not susceptible to the antibiotic prophylaxis administered. The results of this study highlight the importance of ongoing reviews of the local ecology of prosthetic joint infection, demonstrating that the spectrum of pathogens involved is broad. The results should inform empirical antibiotic therapy. This report also provokes discussion about infection control strategies, including changing surgical antibiotic prophylaxis to a combination of glycopeptide and cefazolin, to reduce the incidence of infections due to methicillin-resistant staphylococci.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2386 - 2391
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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