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Staphylococcus aureus Infections in New Zealand, 2000-2011


The incidence rate for invasive and noninvasive Staphylococcus aureus infections in New Zealand is among the highest reported in the developed world. Using nationally collated hospital discharge data, we analyzed the epidemiology of serious S. aureus infections in New Zealand during 2000–2011. During this period, incidence of S. aureus skin and soft tissue infections increased significantly while incidence of staphylococcal sepsis and pneumonia remained stable. We observed marked ethnic and sociodemographic inequality across all S. aureus infections; incidence rates for all forms of S. aureus infections were highest among Māori and Pacific Peoples and among patients residing in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation. The increased incidence of S. aureus skin and soft tissue infections, coupled with the demographic disparities, is of considerable concern. Future work should aim to reduce this disturbing national trend.

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