The 2007 CJIDMM Trainee Review Article Award | Open Access
Vincent Ki, Coleman Rotstein, "Bacterial Skin and Soft Tissue Infections in Adults: A Review of Their Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Treatment and Site Of Care", Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, vol. 19, Article ID 846453, 12 pages, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1155/2008/846453
Bacterial Skin and Soft Tissue Infections in Adults: A Review of Their Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, Treatment and Site Of Care
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) involve microbial invasion of the skin and underlying soft tissues. They have variable presentations, etiologies and severities. The challenge of SSTIs is to efficiently differentiate those cases that require immediate attention and intervention, whether medical or surgical, from those that are less severe. Approximately 7% to 10% of hospitalized patients are affected by SSTIs, and they are very common in the emergency care setting. The skin has an extremely diverse ecology of organisms that may produce infection. The clinical manifestations of SSTIs are the culmination of a two-step process involving invasion and the interaction of bacteria with host defences. The cardinal signs of SSTIs involve the features of inflammatory response, with other manifestations such as fever, rapid progression of lesions and bullae. The diagnosis of SSTIs is difficult because they may commonly masquerade as other clinical syndromes. To improve the management of SSTIs, the development of a severity stratification approach to determine site of care and appropriate empirical treatment is advantageous. The selection of antimicrobial therapy is predicated on knowledge of the potential pathogens, the instrument of entry, disease severity and clinical complications. For uncomplicated mild to moderate infections, the oral route suffices, whereas for complicated severe infections, intravenous administration of antibiotics is warranted. Recognition of the potential for resistant pathogens causing SSTIs can assist in guiding appropriate selection of antibiotic therapy.
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