Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: This study describes the microbiological spectrum of chronic osteomyelitis and so guides the choice of empirical antibiotics for this condition. METHODS: We performed a prospective review of a 166 prospective patient series of chronic osteomyelitis from Oxford, UK in which a standardised surgical sampling protocol was used. RESULTS: Staphylococcus aureus was most commonly isolated (32%) amongst a wide range of organisms including gram negative bacilli, anaerobes and coagulase negative staphylococci. Low grade pathogens were not confined to patients with a history of metalwork, a high proportion of cases were polymicrobial (29%) and culture negative cases were common (28%). No clear predictors of causative organism could be established. Many isolates were found to be resistant to commonly used empirical anti-microbial regimens. CONCLUSIONS: The wide range of causative organisms and degree of resistance to commonly used anti-microbials supports the importance of extensive intra-operative sampling and provides important information to guide clinicians' choice of empirical antibiotics.

Original publication




Journal article


J Infect

Publication Date





338 - 343


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Bacteria, Bacterial Infections, Chronic Disease, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Osteomyelitis, Prevalence, Prospective Studies, United Kingdom, Young Adult