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28.01.2020 | Original Article

Epidemiology and microbiology of prosthetic joint infections: a nine-year, single-center experience in Pavia, Northern Italy

M. Mussa, T. Manciulli, M. Corbella, B. Mariani, P. Cambieri, N. Gipsz, L. Scudeller, D. M. Abbott, E. Brunetti, M. Mosconi, F. Benazzo, P. Orsolini
Wichtige Hinweise
M. Mussa and T. Manciulli have contributed equally to this work.

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Prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) are a growing matter of concern due to their economic and social burden on health systems. In Italy, surgical data on PJIs are available in a national registry, but microbiological data are still scarce.

Materials and methods

We performed a retrospective study at a single center with records of patients treated for primary PJIs of knee or hip from January 1, 2011, to May 30, 2018. Patients with infections of osteosynthesis means and external devices were excluded, as well as PJI recurrences and polytrauma patients. Infections were diagnosed according to IDSA and MSIS criteria. We collected data on demographics, risk factors and microbiology. All patients seen at our center undergo blood cultures and synovial fluid cultures, periarticular biopsy and prosthesis sonication by Bactosonic®. This was used only after 2014. Bacterial identification is achieved by MALDI-TOF, PHOENIX 100 and standard methods. Chi-square or Fisher tests were used to test statistical differences in proportions.


Fifty-one patients matched our inclusion criteria. Of these, 16 (31.4%) were enrolled before 2014. The median age was 68.5 (range 22–88). The most common risk factors were obesity (34%), diabetes (21%) and chronic kidney disease (14%). Seventeen patients were diagnosed with a culture-negative PJIs (33.3%). Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly isolated pathogen (14/51, 27.5%), followed by coagulase-negative staphylococci (7/51, 13.7%). Methicillin-resistant S. aureus rate was 28.6%. The rate of culture-negative PJIs dropped from 56 to 22% after 2014, with a significant difference between the two time periods (p = 0.016).


The introduction of sonication dramatically increased our diagnostic accuracy. Our microbiological data are in line with those from other studies conducted in Italy,

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