Background: Due to reliance on hospital discharge data for case identification, the burden of noninvasive and community-acquired S. aureus disease is often underestimated. To determine the full burden of S. aureus infections, we utilized population-based surveillance in a large urban county. Methods: The Georgia Emerging Infections Program (GA EIP) conducted CDC-funded, population-based surveillance by finding cases of S. aureus infections in 8 counties around Atlanta in 2017. Cases were residents with S. aureus isolated from either a normally sterile site in a 30-day period (invasive cases) or another site in a 14-day period (noninvasive cases). Medical records (all invasive and 1:4 sample of noninvasive cases) among Fulton County residents were abstracted for clinical, treatment, and outcome data. Cases treated were mapped to standard therapeutic site codes. Noninvasive specimens were reviewed and attributed to an invasive case if both occurred within 2 weeks. Incidence rates were calculated using 2017 census population and using a weight-adjusted cohort to account for sampling. Results: In total, 1,186 noninvasive (1:4 sample) and 529 invasive cases of S. aureus in Fulton county were reviewed. Only 35 of 1,186 (2.9%) noninvasive cases were temporally linked to invasive cases, resulting in 5,133 cases after extrapolation (529 invasive, 4,604 noninvasive). All invasive cases and 3,776 of 4,604 noninvasive cases (82%) were treated (4,305 total). Treatment was highest in skin (90%) and abscess (97%), lowest in urine (62%) and sputum (60%), and consisted of antibacterial agents alone (65%) or in addition to drainage procedures (35%). Overall, 41% of all cases were hospitalized, 12% required ICU admission, and 2.7% died, almost exclusively with bloodstream and pulmonary infections. Attribution of noninvasive infection was most often outside healthcare settings (87%); only 341 (7.9%) were hospital-onset cases; however, 34% of cases had had healthcare exposure in the preceding year, most often inpatient hospitalization (75%) or recent surgery (35%). Estimated countywide incidence was 414 per 100,000 (130 for MRSA and 284 for MSSA), invasive infection was 50 per 100,000. Among treated cases, 57% were SSTI, and the proportion of cases caused by MRSA was ~33% but varied slightly by therapeutic site (Fig. 1). Conclusions: The incidence of treated S. aureus infection in our large urban county is estimated to be 414 per 100,000 persons, which exceeds previously estimated rates based on hospital discharge data. Only 12% of treated infections were invasive, and <1 in 10 were hospital onset. Also, two-thirds of treated disease cases were MSSA; most were SSTIs.
Funding: Proprietary Organization: Pfizer.
Disclosures: Scott Fridkin, consulting fee - vaccine industry (spouse).