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Community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus bacteriuria: a warning microbiological marker for infective endocarditis?

BACKGROUND: Urinary tract infection (UTI) is frequently diagnosed in the Emergency Department (ED). Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is an uncommon isolate in urine cultures (0.5-6% of positive urine cultures), except in patients with risk factors for urinary tract colonization. In the absence of risk factors, community-acquired SA bacteriuria may be related to deep-seated SA infection including infective endocarditis. We hypothesized that SA bacteriuria could be a warning microbiological marker of unsuspected infective endocarditis in the ED.

METHODS: This is a retrospective chart review of consecutive adult patients between December 2005 and February 2018. All patients admitted in the ED with both SA bacteriuria (104  CFU/ml SA isolated from a single urine sample) and SA bacteremia, without risk factors for UT colonization (i.e., < 1 month UT surgery, UT catheterization) were analyzed. Diagnosis of infective endocarditis was based on the Duke criteria.

RESULTS: During the study period, 27 patients (18 men; median age: 61 [IQR: 52-73] years) were diagnosed with community-acquired SA bacteriuria and had subsequently documented bacteremia and SA infective endocarditis. Only 5 patients (18%) had symptoms related to UT infection. Median delay between ED admission and SA bacteriuria identification was significantly shorter than that between ED admission and the diagnosis of infective endocarditis (1.4 ± 0.8 vs. 4.3 ± 4.2 days: p = 0.01). Mitral and aortic valves were most frequently involved by infective endocarditis (93%). Mortality on day 60 reached 56%.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that community-acquired SA bacteriuria should warn the emergency physician about a potentially associated left-sided infective endocarditis in ED patients without risk factors for UT colonization.

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