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General Orthopaedics


The European Bone and Joint Infection Society (EBJIS), Ljubljana, Slovenia, 7–9 October 2021.



It is unclear if the prevalence of resistance organisms causing (PJI) in total hip/knee arthroplasty is different among North/South American and European countries. Therefore, we sought to compare causative organisms, rates of resistant organisms, and polymicrobial infections in hospitals in North/South America, and Europe.


We performed a retrospective study of 654 periprosthetic hip (n=361) and knee (n=293) infections (January 2006-October 2019) identified at two facilities in the United States (US) (n=159), and single institutions located in Argentina (n=99), Uruguay (n=130), United Kingdom (UK) (n=103), Germany (n=59), and Russia (n=104). The analyses were performed for the entire cohort, knees, and hips. Alpha was set at 0.05.


Overall, the most frequent organisms identified were Staphylococcus aureus (24.8%) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (21.7%). The incidence of organisms resistant to at least one antibiotic was 58%. In this regard, there was a significant difference between hips (62.3%) and knees (52.6%) (p=0.014). The rates of resistant organisms among countries were significantly different: 37.7% (US), 66.7% (Argentina), 71.5% (Uruguay), 40.8% (UK), 62.7% (Germany), and 77.9% (Russia) (p<0.001). The overall incidence of polymicrobial infections was 9.3% and the rates across nations were: 9.4% in the US, 11.1% (Argentina), 4.6% (Uruguay), 4.9% (UK), 11.9% (Germany), and 16.3% (Russia) (p=0.026).

In an exclusive analysis of the hips, the incidence of resistant organisms was 62.3% while polymicrobial infections accounted for 10.5% of all cultures. The rates of resistant organisms in each country were: 42.9% in the US, 59.2% (Argentina), 78.5% (Uruguay), 41.3% (UK), 63.9% (Germany), and 80.0% in Russia (p<0.001). The incidences of polymicrobial infections were: 9.1% in the US, 6.1% (Argentina), 6.5% (Uruguay), 6.5% (UK), 16.7% (Germany), and 21.7% in Russia (p=0.024).

Regarding the knees, the incidence of resistant organisms was 52.6% while the frequency of polymicrobial infections was 7.8%. The rates of resistant organisms in each country were: 32.9% in the US, 74% (Argentina), 54.1% (Uruguay), 40.4% (UK), 60.9% (Germany), and 75% in Russia (p<0.001). The frequencies of polymicrobial infections were: 9.8% in the US, 16% (Argentina), 0% (Uruguay), 3.5% (UK), 4.3% (Germany), and 9.1% in Russia (p=0.072).


Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis accounted for almost 50% of all infections. The US and the UK had the lowest incidence of resistant organisms while Germany and Russia had the highest. The UK and Uruguay had the lowest rates of polymicrobial infections. These differences between countries and continents may affect comparative studies that evaluate treatments for PJI.