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A retrospective analysis of the microbiology of diabetic foot infections at a Scottish tertiary hospital

  • Macdonald, Katherine E.1
  • Jordan, Crispin Y.2
  • Crichton, Emma3
  • Barnes, Judith E.3
  • Harkin, Gillian E.3
  • Hall, Lesley M. L.3
  • Jones, Joshua D.1, 4
  • 1 University of Edinburgh, Chancellor’s Building, 49 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, UK , Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
  • 2 University of Edinburgh, Doorway 3, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, UK , Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
  • 3 Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Road, Govan, Glasgow, G51 4TF, UK , Glasgow (United Kingdom)
  • 4 ZJU-UoE Institute, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, International Campus, Zhejiang University, 718 East Haizhou Road, Haining, Zhejiang, 314400, People’s Republic of China , Zhejiang (China)
Published Article
BMC Infectious Diseases
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Mar 12, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12879-020-4923-1
Springer Nature


BackgroundThis study represents the first Scottish retrospective analysis of the microbiology of diabetic foot infections (DFIs). The aims were to compare the microbiological profile of DFIs treated at a Scottish tertiary hospital to that in the literature, gather data regarding antimicrobial resistance and investigate potential trends between the microbiological results and nature or site of the clinical sample taken and age or gender of the patients.MethodsA retrospective analysis of wound microbiology results was performed, data were obtained from one multidisciplinary outpatient foot clinic during the 12 months of the year 2017. Seventy-three patients and 200 microbiological investigations were included. In cases of soft tissue infection, the deepest part of a cleansed and debrided wound was sampled. In cases of osteomyelitis a bone biopsy was obtained. Factors influencing the pattern of microbial growth or prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus were investigated.ResultsOf the 200 microbiological investigations, 62% were culture positive, of which 37.9% were polymicrobial and 62.1% monomicrobial. Among the monomicrobial results (n = 77), most were Gram positive isolates (96.1%) and the most frequently isolated bacteria was S. aureus (84.4%). No methicillin-resistant S. aureus was reported. The prevalence of S. aureus in DFIs was associated with increasing age (p = 0.021), but no evidence of association with gender, anatomical sample site or sample material was found.ConclusionThe microbiological profile of DFIs in Scotland resembles that reported elsewhere in the UK. In this context, Gram positive organisms, primarily S. aureus, are most frequently isolated from DFIs. The S. aureus isolates identified were largely susceptible to antibiotic therapy. An association between increasing patient age and the prevalence of S. aureus in DFIs was observed.

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