Osteoarticular Infections in Pediatric Hospitals in Europe: A Prospective Cohort Study From the EUCLIDS Consortium

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Background: Pediatric osteoarticular infections (POAIs) are serious diseases requiring early diagnosis and treatment. Methods: In this prospective multicenter cohort study, children with POAIs were selected from the European Union Childhood Life-threatening Infectious Diseases Study (EUCLIDS) database to analyze their demographic, clinical, and microbiological data. Results: A cohort of 380 patients with POAIs, 203 with osteomyelitis (OM), 158 with septic arthritis (SA), and 19 with both OM and SA, was analyzed. Thirty-five patients were admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; out of these, six suffered from shock, one needed an amputation of the right foot and of four left toes, and two had skin transplantation. According to the Pediatric Overall Performance Score, 36 (10.5%) showed a mild overall disability, 3 (0.8%) a moderate, and 1 (0.2%) a severe overall disability at discharge. A causative organism was detected in 65% (247/380) of patients. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) was identified in 57.1% (141/247) of microbiological confirmed cases, including 1 (0.7%) methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and 6 (4.2%) Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-producing S. aureus, followed by Group A Streptococcus (18.2%) and Kingella kingae (8.9%). K. kingae and PVL production in S. aureus were less frequently reported than expected from the literature. Conclusion: POAIs are associated with a substantial morbidity in European children, with S. aureus being the major detected pathogen. In one-third of patients, no causative organism is identified. Our observations show an urgent need for the development of a vaccine against S. aureus and for the development of new microbiologic diagnostic guidelines for POAIs in European pediatric hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number744182
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


  • Europe
  • pediatric osteomyelitis
  • pediatric septic arthritis
  • S. aureus


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