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Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia

Published on 09 April 2024

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that's a common coloniser of human skin and mucosa. It can cause disease, particularly if there's an opportunity for the bacteria to enter the body. Illnesses that may develop include skin infections, wound infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bacteraemia and bloodstream infections.

Since 2001, Scotland has had a mandatory meticillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia surveillance programme which publishes quarterly reports of the numbers and rates of MRSA bacteraemias. In 2006 the programme was extended to include meticillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) bacteraemias. In 2014 it expanded again to include enhanced S. aureus bacteraemia (SAB) surveillance.


Quarterly epidemiological data commentaries

Read the latest commentary on quarterly epidemiological data in Scotland:

Quarterly epidemiological data on Clostridioides difficile infection, Escherichia coli bacteraemia, Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and Surgical Site Infection in Scotland. October to December (Q4) 2023.

View all previous quarterly epidemiological commentaries.

View the Open Data for this report.

Annual surveillance of healthcare associated infection reports

Read the latest Healthcare Associated Infection annual report below:

Healthcare Associated Infection Annual Report 2022.

View all previous annual surveillance of healthcare associated infection reports.

Annual antimicrobial use and resistance in humans reports

Read the latest Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Humans report:

Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance in 2022.

View all previous annual antimicrobial use and resistance in humans reports.

MRSA Screening Pathfinder Implementation Study Reports

View Information about several studies into MRSA screening within NHSScotland.


Read our enhanced bacteraemia surveillance protocol.


Interim Advice for the Diagnosis and Management of PVL-associated Staphylococcus aureus infections (PVL-S. aureus).

Infection prevention and control

For infection prevention and control guidance visit the A-Z pathogens section of the National Infection and Prevention Control Manual.