The global burden of hospitalisation due to pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus in the under-5 years children: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Durga Kulkarni, Xin Wang, Emma Sharland, Daniel Stansfield, Harry Campbell, Harish Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pneumonia is a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to estimate the global hospitalisation due to Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia in under-5 children.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of primary studies following the PRISMA-P guidelines. We searched Medline, Embase, Global Health, CINAHL, Global Index Medicus, Scopus, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, and CQvip. We included studies reporting data on Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia, confirmed by detection of the pathogen in sterile-site samples in under-5 hospitalised children, published in English or Chinese language and conducted between 1st January 1990 and 4th November 2021 and between 1st January 1990 and 30th September 2020, respectively. We excluded those testing upper respiratory tract samples and not reporting data on samples with other bacteria or absence of bacteria. We screened papers against pre-specified criteria, extracted data and assessed the bacteriological quality, and combined epidemiological and microbiological quality of studies using two self-designed checklists. Pooled proportions of hospitalisation episodes for Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia amongst all-cause pneumonia and the 95% confidence intervals were calculated using the random-effects model. The review protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42021236606).

Findings: Of 26,218 studies identified, thirty-five studies enroling 20,708 hospitalised pneumonia episodes were included. Out of the total hospitalised pneumonia cases in this population, the pooled proportion of Staphylococcal pneumonia cases was 3% (95% CI 2% to 4%; I2=96%). amongst 12 studies with higher microbiological quality, the pooled estimate was 6% (95% CI 2% to 10%; I2= 98%). Based on the recent global estimates of hospitalised pneumonia in this age group, the 3% and 6% estimates represent 738 thousand and 1.48 million hospitalisations in 2019, respectively. Based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE), the overall quality of evidence was considered to be moderate.

Interpretation: Our findings are probably an underestimate because of the unknown and the likely limited sensitivity of current testing methods for Staphylococcal pneumonia diagnosis and widespread reported use of antibiotics before recruitment (in 46% of cases). Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of hospitalisation for pneumonia in young children globally.

Funding: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP 1,172,551) through a prime award to John Hopkins University.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101267
Pages (from-to)101267
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'The global burden of hospitalisation due to pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus in the under-5 years children: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this