Staphylococcus aureus is a frequent colonizer of the skin and mucosa and can cause a broad range of clinical manifestations. Risk factors for complications of S. aureus infection include community acquisition of bacteremia, presence of a prosthetic device, and underlying medical conditions including immunosuppression.
Clinical manifestations of S. aureus infection include skin and soft tissue infection, bacteremia, and associated conditions (including infective endocarditis, cardiac device infection, intravascular catheter infection, and toxic shock syndrome).
Bacteremia may develop as a complication of a primary S. aureus infection (such as skin and soft tissue infection). Bacteremia may also lead to subsequent S. aureus infection at a previously sterile site (such as vertebral osteomyelitis).
Development of back or joint pain should raise the suspicion of an occult site of infection in patients with current or recent S. aureus bacteremia. In adults, hematogenous osteomyelitis most commonly presents in the form of vertebral involvement.
Pulmonary infection due to S. aureus can occur among individuals with S. aureus colonization of the skin or nares, either in the community or in a hospital setting (particularly in the context of intubation or other respiratory tract instrumentation). S. aureus pneumonia can also occur following viral pneumonia or in the setting of right-sided endocarditis with pulmonary emboli.
S. aureus bacteriuria in the absence of a urinary catheter may be an indicator of S. aureus bacteremia.