Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia in Patients Infected with COVID-19: A Case Series

Jaclyn A. Cusumano, Amy C. Dupper, Yesha Malik, Elizabeth M. Gavioli, Jaspreet Banga, Ana Berbel Caban, Devika Nadkarni, Ajay Obla, Chirag V. Vasa, Dana Mazo, Deena R. Altman

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48 Scopus citations


Background: Previous viral pandemics have shown that secondary bacterial infections result in higher morbidity and mortality, with Staphylococcus aureus being the primary causative pathogen. The impact of secondary S. aureus bacteremia on mortality in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains unknown. Methods: This was a retrospective observational case series of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who developed secondary S. aureus bacteremia across 2 New York City hospitals. The primary end point was to describe 14-day and 30-day hospital mortality rates of patients with COVID-19 and S. aureus bacteremia. Secondary end points included predictors of 14-day and 30-day hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19 and S. aureus bacteremia. Results: A total of 42 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with secondary S. aureus bacteremia were identified. Of these patients, 23 (54.8%) and 28 (66.7%) died at 14 days and 30 days, respectively, from their first positive blood culture. Multivariate analysis identified hospital-onset bacteremia (≥4 days from date of admission) and age as significant predictors of 14-day hospital mortality and Pitt bacteremia score as a significant predictor of 30-day hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR], 11.9; 95% CI, 2.03-114.7; P =. 01; OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03-1.20; P =. 02; and OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.19-2.18; P =. 003, respectively). Conclusions: Bacteremia with S. aureus is associated with high mortality rates in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Further investigation is warranted to understand the impact of COVID-19 and secondary S. aureus bacteremia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberofaa518
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • bacteremia


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